Thursday, January 20, 2011

Corn Cobs & Stalks

Over the Christmas holiday I stumbled across several you tube videos, by Brandon K. from central Nebraska, that kind of blew me away. He was demonstrating the firesaw technic using cornstalks as the hearth and saw...and doing it in 10-20 seconds! Also, he made a hot coal with the bow drill method using a corn cob as the drill component. Wow, I have cornfields all around me and never have considered this. So, with all the snow/moisture in the area latley I settled for purchasing some bagged corn cobs, you use to feed the squirrels, from the local plant nursery. I cleaned the dried corn from the cob and hastily gathered a used cottonwood fireboard, bow, and socket, and found a piece of dry ground under a shelter. After a couple of attempts fumbling around to get the drill situated to the socket, and tighten the bow cord, I produced a hot coal in 20 - 30 seconds. I have never read of corn stalks or cobs being used historically for firemaking, though it was an indiginous plant to the Americas. If I am correct the Indians taught the Mayflower colonists to grow corn in the New World to survive. Brandon related, as he considered the characteristics of plants that would work for firemaking, that he successfully used the stalks of yucca, mullein, sunflower, corn, bull thistle, hemp, and goldenrod. I have a few more local plants to try I hadn't considered. Check out Brandon's you tube video at: