Monday, October 28, 2013

My Corny Attempt to be Thrifty

I love recycling.

Years ago, while finishing up my bachelor's degree, I was enrolled in an environmental science class that I found insanely interesting. It altered the way I went about my daily routine... certain areas. I mean, I still drive a Chevy Suburban, so I can't really say that I'm reducing my carbon footprint by much. Somehow, though, I just can't picture myself with a load of wood chips, pellets, and salt blocks neatly packed into a smart car.

So, to compensate for my gas guzzler, I cut back where I'm able. That means, we recycle our cans, bottles, and papers. We grow some fruits and vegetables in our garden. We grind sweet corn for our chickens....wait....what?!?!

Yes. You read that right. We had originally hoped to freeze and eat all the sweet corn in our garden. But sometimes hopes are pretty lofty, and other plans must be made. And if there's food in the garden that's no longer suitable for the family to eat, it will go to the chickens.

Forgive me for this brief side note:

We feed a LOT of  kitchen things to our chickens. The whole family knows that any fruits or veggies or breads that are not finished at dinner time should be scraped off the plates and put directly into the "chicken bucket." The chicken bucket is usually just a plastic pail (like the Halloween one from a McDonald's Happy Meal) that is filled up throughout the day and fed to the chickens to keep the feed cost down. In the picture to the right, I've steamed the unused stalks of broccoli and dumped them in the chicken bucket, along with some leftover mashed pumpkin that I didn't use for a recipe. The water left behind from the steamed veggies will be cooled and used to water the house plants.

And that's the end of the side note. :)

So I picked up the grinder I've been waiting to use and set it up in Hubby's shop...

...grabbed a basket and headed to the garden to pick the dried corn off the stalks...

...and tore the kernels off the cob (This was easier than I thought it would be - almost like pulling a tooth that's really, really loose.)

Then I poured the corn into the grinder....

...and turned the crank that makes the two discs full of teeth crack the kernels. 

After about one hour of cranking (and two sore elbows if you're over 40 years old), you'll have about 3 pounds of cracked corn for the chickens. It's a slow process for sure.

To make sure my effort was worthwhile, I gave a handful of cracked corn to the chickens. They approved.

Now it's time for me to try a few physical therapy exercises for my elbows.

May your day be corny and fun!


1 comment:

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