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Life on the Farm


Marveling at winter rye and popcorn

By Dean Mullis
Dean Mullis
Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield.

This fall, we are sowing grain rye, hairy vetch and crimson and ladino clovers and trying to finish up before it rains.

Cover crops prevent winter soil erosion, add organic matter when incorporated into the soil in the spring, and the legumes, such as clovers and vetches, accumulate nitrogen from the air through a symbiotic association of bacteria that grow on their roots.

Rye will produce 30-plus MILES of roots per acre and literally tons of above-ground organic matter.

I don’t have a clue why I always find myself standing alone in the corner at the cocktail parties I so frequently attend.

Meditation on popcorn

I have come to realize that it is uncommon to make popcorn unless it comes in a microwaveable bag with toxic imitation butter flavor included.

Making real popcorn is easy! Get a pot with a tight-fitting lid, add about 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil of your choice over medium high heat and wait a minute or two.

Put in one kernel of popcorn. When it starts to sizzle around that one kernel, pour in the rest of the popcorn; 1/2 cup of popcorn will pop up about 2 quarts of popcorn as a rough rule of thumb.

As the corn starts to pop, slide the pot slowly back and forth over your heat source. When there is a 2-3 second delay between pops, slide the pot to the side and add 1/3 of a stick of butter and some sea salt.

Butter, not margarine, spray or 48 percent vegetable spread. ... Butter.

Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield;
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