Thursday, August 7, 2008

Amber Waves of Grain ...


Well, somewhere this week between picking corn and talking about wheat, I got a twinkle in my eye about the beauty that is America. I took this sunflower pic above by walking into the middle of a huge field of 6-plus feet high stalks of sweet corn. Field corn is the taller version. Anyway, it wasn't a pic for me at first ... it was for a production assistant's mom, she likes sunflowers. I just couldn't erase it from my phone because it was so pretty to me, and then just a few minutes after i snapped it, I looked off into the distance and got a bit misty about what I saw. Nothing. No biggie, just land and sky as far as the eye can see, I took this pic below ...

and then boom ... the song popped in my head ...

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!


and so on ... lemme tell ya, the country is beautiful. You gotta get out and see it. I know times are tough, but even a stay-cation can show you something beautiful about this land. I've driven cross country twice and both times I was just in love with the terrain and both times I was broker than broke! So where there is a will, there is a way! Get out and see the country! Every highway lookout and turnout as they called it in the midwest states .. I took and stopped for a view. Especially on the trip back to NYC from Cali, I took time to just breathe and take in the beauty. So, I implore you, if you've never left the zip code you are in or the time zone ... give it a try. Hotels are cheap and now they give out gas cards!! I stayed at one junky hotel in the middle of nowhere on my cross country road trip, towels were hard and dirty, no soap, I didn't even want to touch the remote or sleep in the bed and I didn't - I slept right on top! lol, but the next morning, the sunrise was priceless. Feel me? You can do this broke, please don't think I'm sitting here telling you to go spend your money ... I'm as frugal as they come sometimes and no matter whether I have money or not, I've always found a way to stop and enjoy life and the surroundings of it.

Ok, I'll stop with the travel push ...
I hung out earlier this week at Sakata Farms outside of Denver, Colorado and boy was that fun!!! I was in the mile-high area for corn and the head farmer, RT and his family are pioneers in harvesting corn ... check out the yellow machine on the left, he invented with his dad and it harvests corn properly, minimizing loss due to the previous machines that were brutal on the crop.

On the show we'll slow it down so you can see in slow motion how it works, but it was harvesting at light speed!!! What a great family story RT had for me, I don't think it would be appropriate to exploit or tell here in this format, but I will tell you it's a story of hard work from a family that wasn't given proper treatment from the beginning by this country and now, they've turned hard work into a great farming business and have developed machinery that not only they use, but other farmers across the country use as well to better harvest their crops and keep loss down. So, I'm loving the story about corn, but boy the story behind the story is nice as well, hope you catch the airing of that show! What a nice family! Here I am right before devouring some corn right off the stalk!!!


Oh yeah, it's sweetest right when picked ... I didn't need a pot to boil it or a grill to char it, just my teeth to bite in!! To taste corn right off the stalk was a sweet treat and not to sound yucky, but I'm sure the gift will re gift in a few days, ick tmi? lol! What is that about corn? Grains are where it's at anyway! I didn't want to pass up the chance to try it right from the field. Don't quote me, but I'm pretty sure corn is number one in grain, then wheat, then rice as far as production in the U.S. is concerned. Cool thing is we got to cover some of the green things corn is good for in this episode and I'm not talking gas alternatives. After we finished hangin' in the cornfield ... we went and had some SONIC!!! YAAAAAY!!! Look, I'ma have to find this pic I have from my first day of work at SONIC, my first paying job ever ... I was wearing hi-water pants and had a Colgate smile, like yippee!! I''m about to make 4.25 an hour!!! I loved that job and I find it hard to pass up eating there if it's in the vicinity. Here I am listening to make sure my order of large onion rings, medium cherry limeade and something I'd never had before - a bacon cheeseburger toaster sandwich thing-a-ma-jig, was right. We must've together ordered 40 menu items, so much so, the receipt got cut off!

We ate and then headed to the packing plant. Nothing there to snap away at except a huuuuge pile of pretty ice, I can't explain it, only to say I'd never seen ice in this shape, again ... gotta watch the show for that because it totally wouldn't come out in a photo ... too much white and the lighting was bad. Ok, next up on the trip ... WHEAT BEER!! stay tuned ...

9 comments:

RT Sakata said...

Sunny, Thanks for visiting our family’s farm. We had soooooo much fun that it will be the topic of conversation for the rest of the harvest season! I hope that you can come back again soon. You only got to see a typical day of harvest. What you didn’t get to see was everything that it took to get to that point. It took over 6 months of work starting with preparing the soil, planting the seeds, watering and fertilizing….hopefully fulfilling every need of the plants…yes we try to pamper our sweet corn!

About the sweet corn harvester that you saw, we didn’t invent it but merely played a role to help the manufacturing company develop the machine. It really has helped. I don’t know if we could grow as much sweet corn as we do without it. Farmers out of necessity often find ways to modify equipment to make them work on their particular farm.

I wish that I could have followed you on your visit to see tortilla chips made and then on to wheat beer…I will look forward to seeing about it on your TV show. Thanks for bringing your contagious smile, and your wonderful filming crew to our farm…and God Bless America…we are indeed very blessed.

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

I love corn. It's my favorite vegetable, hands down. Salt, pepper, lime, butter, chili pepper, cilantro, all at the same time or separately--it's my jam.

Oh, and Sonic?! I live next door to one. I'll be asleep and hear: "Your total is $4.53. Drive around..." or the music from the speakers. Straight up happy hour 4-7 pm M-F, 1/2 price drinks! What?!

Sunny Anderson said...

rt!!!! well, first thank you guys so much!!! glad you found the blog!!! i'll throw a change in the text to reflect the corrections, hope none of your corn cohorts rib you about it :-) ... just tell them that sunny chick got it wrong :-). again, thanks so much for everything and next time we are gonna take you up on that bbq!!!

nikki, girl, what u tryin to do?? get me to make reservations to stay at your "casa de la sonic"?? teeheehee ... i am jealous!!! the rings and the c.limeade are pretty addictive. and yeah, the corn was pretty yummy ... and i have been re-gifted.

Complaint Department Manager said...

Suffering succotash, this whole thing is corny. I can't find a kernal of truth, can you at least cob to it? I'm amaized you even posted this. This what I get for keeping my ear peeled to this blog. Perhaps you can fix this in the next post so we can all live in hominy. What can I say, corn is whiskey business, takes lots of grit.

That one ear you've got looks like the cream of the crop, polenta of truth there. You look like you're stalking that Sonic intercom. Okay, I'll quit, I'm just a gluten for punishment.

By the way, get any popcorn chicken at Sonic?

Alex ~ The Food Diva said...

ha ha Niki, that was too funny. There are no Sonic's near me.. :(
I have to drive like an hour away.
I used to live 3 minutes from one when I lived in Florida. Boy oh boy, I was craving White Castle today..really wanted some sliders, then Sonic..go figure I hop on over to your blog Sunny and there you are at Sonic...
We have good burgers here in San Francisco..all organic and such..but sometimes I just want a greasy burger with a pop..yes I said pop..From Chicago..straight up! thanks for the laughs ladies..
Wow, did you check out the Olympics last night?? What a production!!

RT said...

Sunny, You are most definitely welcome ANYTIME!!! We can pick up cherry limeades, rings,and toaster sands and bring them home to have with some home cooked fresh sweet corn...and we definitely won't over cook the corn! Happy Travels.

Sunny Anderson said...

complaint dept. mgr, WOW ... u had me at "succotash"!!!! loved it ... right down to the gluten lol .,, so happy u r here :-), thanks for the smile after a long day of unpacking boxes!

rt, i'll be back i'm sure and i'll hold you guys to it! bbq, grilled corn and sonic!

green eyes said...

I LOVE fresh sweet corn. haven't and it in years since i visited a family farm when i was a kid, but def good memories.

Sunny Anderson said...

green eyes, it was sooooooooooooooooooood good! juicy and dripping with juice, that's why i wrote about it though, so you could live viacariously through me, :-) ... i just felt like eating a hold bucket, but couldn't. wow it was sweet, my mouth is watering just typing about it...geez.