Back to the Future - Freezing Corn the Zero-Carbon Way


| 8/30/2012 2:10:50 PM


Tags: corn, organic, freezing, zero carbon, energy efficiency, off grid, Cam Mather,

North Americans just have no idea how much energy goes into getting food on our plates. If we did, we’d all walk around in a big grateful daze saying “Thank you farmers, thank you Jolly Green Giant, thank you cheap energy….” and never get anything done.

I used the “Back to the Future” tag in my title for two reasons. The first is my obvious attempt to bring traffic to our website. It’s conniving and underhanded but I do it anyway. I can only hope that someone searching for the Michael J. Fox movies will end up on our website by accident and buy our books.

The other reason is the sustainability/homesteading/back to the land concept of “putting food up” and what an insane amount of energy it can take. Lots of hippies and homesteaders who claim to have a low carbon footprint and to be independent, are using a whack of coal-powered electricity or propane to be independent, so frankly, I don’t think it counts.

Today was CSA day and as usual, once Michelle left to do the deliveries, I stay behind and clean up. This involves getting out the snow shovel to push the assorted excess vegetable detritus out of the kitchen. Thank heavens it’s a farm kitchen. This wouldn’t work in one of those pristine suburban kitchens.

As I was harvesting corn for the boxes this week there were a lot of ears with insect damage and holes that had been pecked by birds. We usually just eat this corn ourselves, but there were more than enough for a few meals so I decided to freeze it. So I went back to the garden and picked a few more ears that I knew would be overripe before next week’s delivery.

Actually, before I went back to the garden I started to heat the water. You see, I had decided to make this corn “zero-carbon.” I decided to not use any propane. So I put some hot water in the corn pot. The hot water from our tap right now is scalding because of our solar thermal system. I also put the kettle into the solar oven to warm it up.




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