Sweaty Corn And Strawbales

Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 10:05 am
By: Doug Lund
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When I step out of the house and my glasses fog over it’s too &%$#@ hot and humid.

When the only time I care to venture out of my air conditioned comfort zone is to do my required yard chores or go to the grocery store, then I want to blame somebody. I could stand there and shake my sweaty fist at the heavens but my faith is already on shaky enough ground that I don’t need to further anger the Almighty. So, I called up Brian Karstens who is not only a Keloland meteorologist but an agri-scientist too. He has confirmed my suspicions that this excessive summer-fun-robbing humidity is the FARMER’S fault!  

strawbale corn

Okay, okay…those weren’t Brian’s exact words but he did say that all the corn being grown these days does contribute to higher humidity’s. He says corn, especially during the tasseling period is working so hard to create ears that it’s sending a lot of water vapor into the atmosphere. “The corn is SWEATING?” I asked. “Yup, that’s one way of putting it and because there is so much more corn in the area, dew points rise and the chance of storms increases.” But, Brian says, nobody’s quite figured out yet exactly how MUCH difference it makes.   “So when the corn is all tasseled out the humidity will go down and my golf game will get better?” I asked.  “Ah..yes..and no,” he said.

Well, the corn must have taken a rest last Sunday because it was one of those rare summer days you dream about; low 80’s and breathable air. We called up our friends, Denny and Joanie, and went for a ride in the convertible. 

strawbale painter

In the ten years since Don South and his wife, Susie, created Strawbale Winery just north of Sioux Falls, he’s been after me to come check it out. We decided to do just that on Sunday. It was a great choice..long overdue. I brought my camera along.  

 

Bales of straw were actually used as materials for constructing and insulating the winery. It keeps the building cool and provides a cool name.

Bales of straw were actually used as materials for constructing and insulating the winery. It keeps the building cool and provides a cool name.

 

 

Mathew DeRiso (Mat D) was Sunday's Front Porch musical entertainment . What a wonderful voice!

Mathew DeRiso (Mat D) was Sunday's Front Porch musical entertainment . What a wonderful voice!

Strawbale is open for tasting and tours year round but there are special events throughout the summer including Thursday evenings and Sangria Sundays which include music, arts and crafts plus, of course, the wines. Strawbale grows most of its own grapes on the property. It also offers all kinds of fruit blends using South Dakota grown rhubarb, chokecherries, apples, raspberries etc.

Strawbale is open for tasting and tours year round but there are special events throughout the summer including Thursday evenings and Sangria Sundays which include music, arts and crafts plus, of course, the wines. Strawbale grows most of its own grapes on the property. It also offers all kinds of fruit blends using South Dakota grown rhubarb, chokecherries, apples, raspberries etc.

Don South never gets tired of visiting with guests who come to Strawbale. It's just a friendly laid back atmosphere where chickens and cats roam free.

Don South never gets tired of visiting with guests who come to Strawbale. It's just a friendly laid back atmosphere where chickens and cats roam free.

Here, Linda, Joanie and Denny offer a toast to the South's for making our Strawbale Sunday so special.

Here, Linda, Joanie and Denny offer a toast to the South's for making our Strawbale Sunday so special.

For more information on coming events at Strawbale Winery and directions on how to get there click on the following website: http://www.strawbalewinery.com/

Just a couple more thoughts about corn: I’m still waiting to sample this year’s batch of locally grown sweet corn; late because of all the spring rain. I’d put up with all the humidity they emit in the field just to sit at a table containing a platter of freshly picked and boiled ears..plenty of butter and salt..then feasting my way to paradise on those tender, sweet creamy kernels of golden goodness.

I love the way fellow sweet corn aficionado, Garrison Keillor, describes it in verse:

 O that fresh sweet corn that the Lord sent down
So we know how heaven will be,
No grief, no tears, just the young golden ears
Plenty for you and for me.
Though the road be hard and deep is the night
And the future we cannot see
Take my hand, dear Lord, and I’ll be all right
If you’ll save a few ears for me.

11 Comments

  1. Darwin Wollmann says:

    Corn stand is up here in Madtown (Madison), across from the Dairy Queen. At almost $4.00 per gallon gas, probably not worth the drive. I’m thinking it would be cheaper to Fedex it to you. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

  2. Cam Lind says:

    Another winner, corn growing stories abound this time of year. Great memories. Sounds like should apply for the job at Strawberry, I could walk around and not work and get to talk. Dream job. Cam

  3. Mike H says:

    Don does a great job! Have wanted to get there for the entertainment but it has not worked out yet.

    On another “farm and weather” subject, ask Brian his thoughts on no-till and flooding. My brother-in-law has some strong opinions about it and i would love to hear other’s thoughts.

  4. Glenn says:

    sweet corn at Austads E 10th.

  5. Linda says:

    Now you just have to bring your sweetie pie to the Strawbales winery again on the 13th of August for the annual Quilts and Vine. What a WONDERFUL time that is!!! good food good music, good wine and a old time reunion with some of Linda’s old working buddies!!!!

  6. Cam Lind says:

    It should say Strawbale in my first post, not Strawberry. Food on my mind what a novel concept.

  7. grouse says:

    If you travel to Strawbale’s beware of those chickens! They’ll peck your eyes out at the drop of a feather. Chickens are like that. They’re just waiting for you to drop your guard. Delicious, but vicious.

  8. Hemmingsen says:

    Putting it another way, we plant and harvest a prairie rain forest every year. It could get even better. Tryg and I were on the road one day when we noticed a field of corn planted in double rows. Two rows right next to each other separated by what appeared to be the normal space, then two more rows. We kind of ballparked that this increases the density by about a third. Get a bigger air conditioner, and your own wind turbine.!

  9. Della says:

    Oh Steve H., it is good to hear from you again. Miss your daily blogs with all your travels and friends. Ever think about reconsidering your decision to “retire”?

  10. Hemmingsen says:

    No.

  11. prairierose says:

    Glad Steve is enjoying his retirement. Do miss his wit and his storytelling. Doug, sweet corn has been sold here for 2 weeks, hmmmmmmmmmm good. Strawbale looks like a place we will have to check out. Thanks for the heads up.

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