‘Corn-cobbing’ is a word my mom and I made up to describe what’s become an annual activity in recent years: walking harvested corn fields in the fall looking for corn the farmer’s combine missed. We do it as a way to get extra bird seed for the blue jays, squirrels, and (in my case) wild turkeys that will inevitably be scouring below our bird feeders later this winter.

Dry corn cobs

We went corn-cobbing last weekend right after getting our free Christmas trees. It was a nice day but the wind was pretty crisp, especially when out on a hill in an open field, so we only searched for about 30-45 minutes before getting tired and cold but were still able to come away with 40 or so cobs. Now that we’ve been doing it for a few years (3?) we’re getting good at knowing where in the field the odds of a successful hunt are best (along the edges, corners, and anywhere the combine obviously turned around or stopped) and my mom especially has developed excellent “corn cob eyes,” meaning she can spot a full corn husk buried in a pile of broken stalks from an astonishing distance.

One of my favorite things about living in this part of the country is the enormous sky, and being on a hill in an expanse of farmland, with the wind nipping at my face and whistling through my hood, was a rare opportunity to really enjoy it in all its vast and unobstructed glory. And then it was so nice to get back in the warm car and go home and have hot chocolate!  ♥

Want to go corn-cobbing? Grab a few reusable shopping bags, dress warmly, and head out to some farmland near you. You should always ask before traipsing out onto someone’s field but most farmers won’t mind since any corn missed during harvest will only sit there and get eaten by birds and bunnies anyway.

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