Using the Whole Corn Plant

We’ve discussed cabbage at length but what about corn. I think the plant is far under used. When knowledge was the means to survival, not the local grocery store, then using items to their fullest was essential. I believe that the time will come when our ancestors will seem pretty smart. We might already be there even though we have smart phones at our fingertips, the experts say that we know less than ever before. I believe it. We are a dependent society.

So as we are bringing in the corn harvest I can’t help but wonder, ‘How can I more fully use our corn?’ Seems I’m do quite well but is there more I could be doing? I went looking and yes, I found more.

I could make corn cob jelly with sweet corn but I don’t really want to. Somehow it does not appeal to me when there are cherries and berries.

I could use corn cobs to smoke our bacon and hams except we aren’t raising pigs. We do plan to smoke turkeys but I’ve another use for the cobs.

I could burn the cobs in the stove and I do. 

I could put dried corn kernels in the stove as they produce 4 times the amount of heat in comparison to the same amount of wood. (Might be hard on the grates.) But I prefer eating what few we have.

If I had a burr mill and grew acres and acres of corn, I could grind corn cobs for bedding.


I could feed the stalks and husks to the beef and goats and I do.

I could dry on the cob my poorly formed sweet corn and grind it as I do my Painted Mountain corn for cornbread and I do.

I could use my beautifully colored Painted Mountain corn for decorations along with the stalks but I’m too busy preparing for winter to think about decorating.


I could boil up sweet corn cobs with water after cutting the kernels off and use the broth in soups. That I just did from some sweet corn from the store since I did not have any of my own.  It smelled wonderful. I’m definitely doing this in the future.

I could raise corn and dry it to feed the livestock for the winter but I don’t have enough land and energy.

I could put the plants minus the cobs and kernels in the mulch pile but that for me would be wasting my plants when I can do so much more with them. But for you that might just be your best option.

I could use corn silks for a nourishing tea or in soups. They have many medicinal properties and a corn flavor. 

I could learn to make hominy and from dried hominy make corn nuts. Did you know that hominy comes from field corn or flint corn? I didn’t. But not being a southern belle, I’m not a big hominy fan. But corn nuts are another thing. So I looked it all up since Painted Mountain corn is a flint corn. Don’t think I’ll be making any hominy any time soon but I might just have to buy some dried hominy corn off of the internet and make my own corn nuts. Sounds like a fun project to do with the kiddos.


Then of course there is simply eating sweet corn and enjoying it fresh or drying corn for corn meal and tacos. Of course we do some of that.

Looks like we have done quite well on the ‘waste not want not’ portion of corn. After all the mulch pile does not see them. How about you? Have I missed something else besides making corn husk dolls that you do with your corn plant?

5 thoughts on “Using the Whole Corn Plant

  1. Pingback: Using the Whole Corn Plant Part II – Easy Living the Hard Way

  2. Pingback: Corn Cob Broth – Easy Living the Hard Way

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s