Last year when the kids wanted to open a popcorn stand at the end of the drive, I gently suggested we look to our virtual community for buyers. Have you ever manned a lemonade stand down a country road? Mine were never successful, and I didn’t want the kids to be disappointed. So, virtual community it was and our inventory sold out in a day.
That success only fueled their entrepreneurial spirit and this year the popcorn “patch” doubled in size, but was fraught with challenges.
We planted the popcorn —
by hand even though we own a planter that could have put the kernels in the ground in minutes, but, “This is our popcorn Mom. We’re going to plant it!”
— in the cool spring, in dry, dry ground by twilight barely missing a spring storm that flooded the patch. A few weeks later, we replanted . . . by hand . . . again.
The patch came up well. With decent rains and weather, it flourished, until a late summer wind storm knocked out sections of the patch. The kids learned that popcorn is not like field corn. It won’t stand back up after being flattened by wind.
To save the crop, they picked the ears from the downed corn and created drying racks on which they spiked 400 ears of corn three times over.
As the combines rolled into the field this fall, the kids rolled into the popcorn patch, spending an hour each day picking, shucking, shelling, cleaning and packaging popcorn. Thankfully a family friend found an old hand-crank sheller in her shed and donated to the cause. The kids shelled the whole patch in a matter of days.
Forgive this mom a moment of boasting. I am so proud of my farm boy and farm princess, farm kids who are growing into true-blue farmers with their popcorn patch. They’re doing the hard work, paying the “bills” and honing their skills at cultivating, growing and harvesting a crop.
Now they are ready to sell the fruits of their labor. Pratt Popcorn can be ordered at http://tinyurl.com/prattpopcorn14. Available while supplies last. Remember, this is only year two of the popcorn stand, so have patience, give guidance if you have any to offer and if you like popcorn, give ours a try!