THE U-Pick GARDEN will be closing August 20th. This will be the last year the garden will be open to the public. Next year I'll be operating as a CSA, supplying about 20 regular customers with weekly boxes. Thank you for your support over the last 8 years, but it's time to try something new.

To get a copy of my book, "How To Grow Vegetables In Sitka, Alaska" just give me a call....The books are $20 plus tax. If you live out of town and want me to mail you a copy, you can mail a check for $25.60 to:

Lori Adams
P O Box 6021
Sitka, Alaska

Down To Earth U-Pick Garden is located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road in Sitka, Alaska. It is open usually from mid-June through late August. Hours are Monday-Saturday 12:00 to 6:30. On Farmer's Market Saturdays I am not open until 2:00. Children are welcome but may not run through the garden or chase the ducks. If you have any questions you can contact me, Lori Adams, at 907-747-6108 or 907-738-2241. My email address is

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Corn Project

About a month ago I walked into the grocery store and saw something that caught my attention..... a cart full of Indian Corn with a "free" sign on it....Hmmmm, what to do, what to do......I asked someone how much of it I could take and they said,
 "Oh, I don't know, maybe a boxful."
 I said, "Well, if you'll let me take it all, I will."
"Oh no, I don't think you can have it all!"
"Well, who does know?"
A call was made.......
"Oh, I guess you can have it all if you want it....and there is more in the back if you want that too!"

Okay, now what? Corn is corn, right?....ducks eat corn, right?.....colored corn is just as good as yellow corn, right? Do they eat it whole, do I have to crush it? The past couple of weeks, in between Christmas and cooking, I've stumbled over these boxes of corn in the kitchen while doing some research on-line. This research resulted in varying opinions. Although there's no question that they can eat it, there seems to be disagreement on whether the ducks will want to eat it, or if in fact they will fully utilize the hard kernels, or whether they will just poop them out on the ground. So, since I can't follow the ducks around looking at their poop I decided I needed to crush the corn. First, I had to shuck it.....

I've always loved Indian Corn...It's so beautiful....

It comes in so many beautiful colors.....

.....and alot of the ears have multiple colored kernels on do they do that?!?

Next, I had to come up with some way to crush it. That turned out to be difficult given the equipment that I have on hand. I am NOT a kitchen gadget girl!  Well, the electric coffee grinder did not work, the manual coffee grinder did not work, the pestle and mortar did not work. Hmmmm.....So, I decided to try to soften it by soaking it in a bowl of water for a few days.

It did get a little softer, but not very fast, and I started to worry that I was growing a bowl of bacteria after awhile. Then I decided to try to sprout some...So I soaked some in a bowl of water....for 24 hours this time... and put it in a colander.....

...and rinsed it "once a day".....okay, I rinsed it several times a day....(because it was fun and I didn't want it to dry out!)  And it worked!!!

 day 1

 day 2

day 3

Softened, sprouted, and ready to go....Ha!

Now, you might ask me why I would go to this much trouble....Well, you have to understand that  in Africa a 50 pound bag of cracked corn costs about $50. Down in the land of cracked corn a 50 pound bag costs about $20. And....once the corn kernels are crushed they start to loose their old is a bag of cracked corn sitting on the shelf here?  My ducks are getting free, delicious, free, wholesome, free, nutritious, free food.............

......AND IT'S PRETTY TOO!!!!!!  I win!


  1. So, the ducks will eat the sprouted corn? It is not too big for them? Are they able to digest it?

    1. Yes, they will eat it with no fact, they will eat the large kernels even when they're hard and not sprouted.....the problem is knowing if they are fully utilizing it while it is hard....that's why I'm going to the trouble

    2. Ducks, turkeys, and other birds fully utilize the nutrition in whole grains, including any variety of corn, whether they are sprouted, cracked, or whatever. But be cautious: the indian corn sold on the cob is intended to be used for ornamentation. The producers may, or may not, varnish the ears to keep them pretty and glossy, or treat them with pesticides or in other ways that are not legal to treat food.

  2. Africa??

    Sprouting grains for poultry is the latest cool thing.