On the farm, as we sleep

When the heat and humidity marry on a hot July summer’s night, they say you can hear corn grow in the fields. While I’ve never tested this theory myself, I believe it to be true. I’ve said goodnight to a garden ofΒ  sweetcorn and popcorn, only to wake and find it has stretched higher under the moon’s watch.

Yes, corn does its best maturing in the dog days of summer.

It’s a charming thought, of corn growing while we sleep. The ticking and cracking of living stalks increasing vastly in size, like a videographer fast forwarding through spring shots of flowers coming to full bloom; months of work put into ten seconds of impression.

I imagine on a calm, July night, we just might stay awake long enough to hear the corn grow.

South Dakota corn

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69 thoughts on “On the farm, as we sleep

  1. We are growing corn for the first time this year, but it is really struggling to survive. I told myself it must be the heat killing it, but I doubt that’s really the reason. We didn’t plant a whole lot of it though and several people have told us that it doesn’t really thrive if it isn’t in a huge field. Who knows? I love your photos though. I’m inspired to keep trying!

  2. I’ve heard the same thing about corn. A couple of us actually tried it when we used to go camping – we sat in a cornfield at night and waited….and waited….but heard nothing. Still, I like to think that it was just a matter of time and we simply abandoned our posts too soon. πŸ™‚

  3. I agree with you. On the way back from church yesterday we were discussing how quickly the corn has grown. The Ohio farmers couldn’t plant until the very end of May/beginning of June (because of our torrential Spring rains) and the corn is already pretty tall. They must really be getting busy with the growing at night around here:)

  4. You have such a magical way with words, it’s amazing. You transport me directly into this other world and I love it. Thanks again for always bringing such beauty with your words and pictures!

  5. Yes, yes, I agree with Maineiac. You do have a magical way of writing and I can hardly wait to read from post to post. The corn field next to our house grew 2 feet within two weeks. That blew me away. Then I go out to water my garden (about every other day) and I’m so surprised to see how fast everything is growing. I picked my first ripe cherry tomato today. My husband and I ate them right off the vine, along with the sugar snap peas. I also picked my first Zucchini today at 9 1/2 inches. Beets are also popping out of the ground as if to say, ‘pick me, pick me’. I spotted a few cucumbers too. The lettuce is more than I can handle and can’t eat it fast enough. Its a new adventure in my first vegetable garden.

  6. Loved this! When we lived in Storrs, Connecticut, we lived across from a cornfield, and I would take the kids kite flying on the country road that ran through it. One time our kite string broke and the kite landed in the cornfield. I went in after it. Big mistake. I came out covered in something sticky. Cornfields are beautiful, but only to look at! Great picture.

  7. How long are your days right now? We are getting dark by 8:45 now, and will lose about 2 minutes of day light a day. I thought maybe, since you are so much further north, you might have longer days than that, which would explain why your corn grows so much more in the dog days of July?

  8. I’ve heard corn grow! Or, at least I thought I did once. I grew up around cornfields all of my life and one night when I was younger I swear I heard the stalks make a squeaky, crackly noise. Of course, it could’ve just been the product of my wild, too-much-sun imagination at the time.

    Love your blog!

  9. My children seem to grow more in the summer too! Cute post. Almost makes me want to switch off the AC and listen…but I don’t like the thought of sweat-soaked-sheets, so never mind. I’ll just imagine it. πŸ™‚

  10. I remember when I was a kid, my dad would bring us to the farm, I did see some corn field but not as close as the one you described. How sweet and calming it must have been to live in a farm. Have a wonderful Summer.

  11. Hi. I discovered your blog via the “Man of the Couch” blog. Just wanted to say, I love your writing, you are an artist! it just has a lovely, warm conversational feel to it. Like reading a memoir.

  12. Lovely writing, and I know what you mean about the corn growing while you sleep — I go out to our garden every morning just amazed at how it’s all grown. Almost like magic; you captured it that way too!

  13. Growing up surrounded by corn fields (or peanuts, depending on the year), I loved this post. I can still remember how “itchy” it was to walk through a corn field. And how that corn smelled. Hmmm.. I may need to drive a few miles to find a corn field today!

  14. I just thought of that song from the show Oklahoma: the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye.
    Sounds like your corn is getting there – even while you sleep!

  15. Just randomly found your post, like the way you write. Aint love GREAT! I too get that same feeling when my lovely jeweller husband comes in the door – he’s just come in from a dip in the Adriatic – we live in Croatia. Had a summer in Iowa and marvelled often about the way the corn grew and yes can also imagine it growing as you slumber.
    Hope you and your country man have a great summer.

  16. So true, corn does need heat to grow and in the Midwest it is going to reach the sky soon! We have a couple of corn fields near our farm (we are in beans this year, rotation you know) and the first week of hot weather, I swear it grew three feet in two days!
    Hope your summer growing season is progressing well.
    Mylene

  17. You have some really beautiful photos on your blog. I have hitchhiked through South Dakota many times over the years. I have been hitchhiking the United States for most of 15 years. I was raised on a cattle farm in Iowa.

    Did you see the film “Into the Wild” about Chris McCandless? The photography in the film was excellent; I especially liked the part of the film where he helped Wayne Westerberg harvest wheat in South Dakota.

    Once I was hitchhiking in Belle Fourche, SD and this lady picked me up. She said that she and her boyfriend picked up Chris McCandless back in 1992 while he was hitchhiking through South Dakota.

    “Hitchhiking Stories”

    http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/p/hitchhiking-stories.html

  18. I never visit your life without leaving with beautiful images and a smile. Thank you. Here in my world, winter driving rain and howling cold winds are de rigeur. To see summer and hear and read and taste summer so eloquently reminds me of what lies ahead. M.

  19. It’s quite a thought – I could almost imagine hearing corn grow – here in South Africa we grow a hybrid plant we call Mielies…. It’s a lot larger than corn and the kernels are a much lighter yellow – almost white – our dog days of Summer are from November through to February

  20. This post is so poetic, I love it! My parents grew up in upstate New York surrounded by cornfields. This brought back memories of my visits to their little town.

  21. Pingback: How does your garden grow? « The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife

  22. I’m so happy I discovered this blog. I’m spending the summer in the country, and I love it so much. (Just this weekend my cousin got lost in the corn). That doesn’t happen in the city.
    Your post about corn is very poetic. This is wonderful.

  23. Wonderful posts, I’m happy I found a blog of a farmer’s wife like me! It’s a dairy farm here but we do have corn fields. It sits in the boundary from that of another dairy farmer’s land. The garden belongs to my mom-in-law but I’m now helping her maintain it. Hope we can exchange links or blog roll perhaps? Thanks.

  24. Pingback: Why do I blog? Why do you? « The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife

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