How to Harvest & Store Corn

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When harvesting and storing corn, break the ears off the stalk when the kernels have a thick consistency inside, keep the husk over the corn to keep it moist, and store it in an aerated container. Freeze corn to enjoy later in the season with advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to harvest and store corn. Corn is such a wonderful vegetable, and a lot of people don't even consider it a vegetable. It's more of a carb or a grain, and it's a wonderful, wonderful plant to grow. But when do you know when it's time to harvest? Well, I always notice that my corn stalks will get very large, and then you'll find that the corn will start develop and it'll get to the point where it looks pretty plump. And when you think that it's ready, instead of harvesting it and just taking all of them out, what I have found is just by opening one corner of the corn and taking one kernel and opening it, if you find that it's really runny -- watery -- it's not ready. But if you open it and it's very milky and very grain-like and kind of mushy, then...or oatmeal-type consistency, then it is ready to harvest. So you just cut them at either end or you can even leave part of the stem with it, but always leave the covering because it will protect the corn and keep it moist for a lot of time. So then you can take the corn right back into the house and eat it that evening. You can also store corn very easily, and the trick is to keep it moist but not too hot and not too cold, and just in the refrigerator is always fine. But you want to give it some air. You don't want to let it to just sit in a bag where it's not going to breathe. So if you can keep it somewhere like in a container that has holes in it and it has some air, that's also the best way that you can store it. And add some moisture. They don't want to stay too moist because they'll just dry right out. And what I've been doing at the farmer's market, too, is at the end of the season when the corn is at its peak, I buy lots of it and cut it into pieces and then put them into bags and freeze it. And sometimes I'll add just a little bit of sugar in over the top, too, to keep them a little sweeter. And in the winter, I can enjoy corn as it was just off the stock.

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