Whitesburg KY

This corn planter isn’t going to quit trying

Points East

I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that, as far as home gardening goes, a drought is not all that bad.

The fact of the matter is that, even in the driest years we’ve had in my lifetime, I’ve always been able to find plenty water in a nearby creek sufficient to keep my plantings healthy.

It is, for sure, bothersome and laborious to haul water and ration it out to thirsty plants and last year, especially, I discovered that my back can’t take the lifting that it could 20 years ago without causing some dreadful pain. But still, if gardening is all you have to worry about, finding water for it during a drought is nothing more than a serious aggravation.

On the other hand, I’ve yet to find a way to dry my garden out when it gets waaaaaay too much rain.

As in about nine inches over the last 15 days when two would have been about right. Twice already this year I’ve had to spend hours filling in gullies where sweet corn had been planted two or three days earlier.

Sweet corn that may, right this minute, be sprouting and coming up on a river delta somewhere between Paint Lick and Carrolton. Bodacious sweet corn, at that, and it cost $6 for a little paper bag with enough seed to plant about 200 feet of row. So far I’ve bought $12 worth at Bluegrass hardware and after Saturday’s wash-out here on Lowell Branch I’ll have gone back for yet another sack full by the time you read this column

I can just see it now.

Some of these people who keep little summer cottages where they lie around and drink beer all summer next to the riverbanks downstream from Madison County are ultimately going to wander down to the shore and discover thick patches of my Bodacious corn growing right there on the bank.

At first they are going to be amused but before the end of August they are going to notice that every stalk has two nice ears and finally, out of sheer boredom, they are going to try boiling a few ears on the cob or tossing some on the grill just to see what it tastes like.

Word is going to spread like wildfire. You are going to see people in leaky old wooden john boats paddling up to remote little bottoms along the river, knocking down the stinging weeds and thistles with razor-sharp machetes to see if they can find another stalk or two of this mysterious sweet corn that tastes better than anything previously known to man, and growing only in the deepest jungles of the Kentucky River Valley.

Rumors will spread. The most common one will be that a flock of elusive snipes flew in and began nesting on the river. Everywhere they pooped there for a week or two, the sweet corn sprouted.

Institutions of higher learning will be trying to figure out the migratory routes of said snipes so they can figure out where the fowl discovered this wonderful new corn. The effort that will go into this research will make the search for the origin of the Nile look like folly.

Arguments will be made and papers presented at the highest levels of academia, maintaining that this is nothing but plain old Iowa Chief sweet corn that has been radically altered by the enzymes in elusive snipe digestive tracts.

Before the end of the year, some enterprising retirees with too much time on their hands will have saved a quart or two of seed. They will be selling it on ebay at two bucks per grain and it will be advertised as “the original snipedoo sweet corn.” Millions of dollars will be made by these entrepreneurs but I’d watch out if I were you. There are lots of fakes there on ebay and it’s nearly impossible to determine if you are getting the real thing before your hard-earned money is long gone.

What you can do, of course, is trot on over to Bluegrass Hardware and get the real thing if they have any left.

At least that’s what I’m going to do. And I’m going to keep planting, no matter how many times it gets washed out, right on up until the first of August.

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