Farming Advice: Cooking Sweetcorn, Repelling Pet Pests and a Sunflower Playhouse

Farming advice from MOTHER and her readers, including cooking sweetcorn ears, repelling pet pests and planting a sunflower playhouse.

| July/August 1978

  • Farming advice from MOTHER, including planting a sunflower playhouse for children.
    Farming advice from MOTHER, including planting a sunflower playhouse for children.
    Illustration by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff

  • Farming advice from MOTHER, including planting a sunflower playhouse for children.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including repelling pet pests, planting a sunflower playhouse and cooking sweetcorn ears.

Farming Advice: Cooking Sweetcorn, Repelling Pet Pests and a Sunflower Playhouse


Seems there's always some sweet corn left on the stalks in the garden at summer's end . . . tough old ears that are no good for boiling or canning. Most people just plow 'em under, but Lucinda Dittmar of LaPorte, Indiana saves every one and uses the kernels to add variety to her family's winter diet.

First, Mrs. Dittmar strips those late-season ears from the stalks and husks them in her back yard. Then, after it has dried for a few days, the corn is shelled and ground in a small grist mill. "Those kernels make the sweetest, nuttiest cornmeal I've ever tasted," says Lucinda. "The flavor of the hot mush and corn bread I whip up with this home-ground meal far surpasses the bland, sandy taste of foods made with the store bought variety."

Later (on cold, frosty winter nights) Lucinda also pours a few ounces of the dry — but unground — kernels into a pan . . . adds just enough oil to coat'em . . . and fries the morsels until they're plump and brown. The Dittmars then sprinkle on a little salt and they've got toasted corn nuts, a fine fireside winter treat!




Mr. and Mrs. Steve Schonefeld of Columbia City, Indiana not only grind the corn they raise . . . they grind the cob too. "It makes great kitty litter," says Mrs. Schonefeld. The granules also can be used as a supplement to potting soil because of the ground corncobs' moisture-absorbent qualities.


Ever try to change a car's oil filter but couldn't find the special wrench that is designed just for that job? Well, Jim Kerr of Buncombe, Illinois never owned an oil-filter wrench in his life . . . and he always changes the filters in his vehicles. Jim just uses a large screwdriver — driven right through the old filters — to twist 'em off. New ones are then put on and firmly tightened down by hand.






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