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Garfield Farm Museum Presents CORN 101

CAMPTON HILLS, IL- On Sunday, September 15th at 2 pm, museum volunteer and farm hobbyist, Chuck Bauer, will give a lecture on the history of corn. There will be discussion of the type used in the 1840ís and how farmers manipulated corn to create the varieties we have today.

    Traveling the Midwest is a particular shock this year as the typical miles upon miles of corn is a patchwork at best as excessive rains prevented fields from being planted. Most residents take for granted an excess supply and have now witnessed only a hint of the unpredictability of weather extremes. Understanding cornís origins and its impact on modern life becomes all the more relevant. In the early nineteenth century, corn was a dietary staple as it could be ground into meal for baking and cooking, dried and cooked, or even distilled into whiskey. More commonly it was fed to livestock; in particular, to fatten oneís hogs as pork was the meat that preserved best.

    Today entire industries are based on this crop. From food and food additives like corn sweeteners, chemicals, plastics, livestock feeds and supplements, and ethanol mixed with gasoline are just some of the uses of this plant developed by the peoples of the Americas.

    Mr. Bauer was a polymer scientist/engineer at Amoco Chemicals for 31 years. Growing up in north central Ohio, Mr. Bauer always had an interest in farming and animals. Chuck took a special interest in corn while demonstrating the Garfieldís corn sheller, a machine to separate kernels from the cob, at one of the museumís annual October Harvest Days event. He has grown several varieties of corn, including pod corn, a progenitor variety of corn. This year his attempts to grow a multi-eared variety, Reed Yellow Dent, was compromised by the excessive late spring and early summer rains. Observations on the impact on corn of climate extremes will be discussed.

    The cost of the lecture is $6 and refreshments are included. For reservations, contact the museum at (630) 584-8485 or . Garfield Farm Museum is located five miles west of Geneva, IL, off of ILL Route 38 on Garfield Road. The 375-acre site is a historically intact former 1840s farm and teamster inn being restored as an 1840s working farm museum by volunteers and donors from around the country.