We have been growing corn at Aanandaa since the very beginning, ie from 2011 onwards. It a relatively easy crop to sow, maintain and harvest. It is usually planted in the monsoon (around July), and is rain fed. However, there are other varieties as well, which is sown later in the year. We sow the seed by simply sprinkling it all over the plot, after tilling the soil. This year, we managed to get some native variety of corn from some farmers in Morni Hills. We are very pleased at having got our hands on this heirloom seed.
You know the maize crop is ready for harvesting, when the outer covering of the cob changes from green to white. Corn is also enjoyed raw, after roasting over a charcoal fire, and is a popular street side snack in India. But to consume as flour, it has to be completely ripe when harvested.
A common pest in the Maize field is the peacock! Our farm being so close to Morni HIlls (morni means peacock in hindi), it is a common destination for peacocks to head to! We can't do much about that and happily share a portion of the harvest with them!
The cob is harvested manually, uncovered and left to dry in the sun. Once dry, the seed is removed easily. After saving seed for the next year, we usually consume the rest of the produce as flour to make bread. Makki ka Atta and Sarson ka Saag is a common delicacy in this area!