Building a Fodder Shock


Twin fodder shocks heralding the way up the main porch steps of our farmhouse.

I love fodder shocks. They’re so country. They add tons of homey charm and they’re free. What’s not to love? Now’s the time to grab your corn stalks and start decorating! If you don’t have corn of your own, ask a neighbor or friend who has corn if they plan to use theirs. If they don’t have some for you, maybe they’ll know someone who does. Network a little and you might find someone who knows someone who would let you have their corn stalks. Some gardeners just plow over them (the travesty!), so you might get lucky and find someone happy to let you take them. Tie them on posts or poles, set pumpkins around them.

Or a chicken.
Fodder shocks are simple to make–just cut down the stalks, tie them in bundles, and you’re done!

About the only thing growing in my garden right now are wildflowers.
And plenty of ’em.
Not to mention chickens. I’m growing a bunch of hens in there.
The corn that was still left wasn’t worth anything. It was too late.
So down the dying stalks came.
The scarecrow is looking a little the worse for wear…..and creepier than ever. He watches me whenever I’m in the garden. He makes scary threats under his breath. He made a grab for me as I was gathering the corn stalks. I fought him off! Gardening is very, very dangerous, but I try to be brave.
I barely escaped alive with my fodder shocks.
I hope you don’t have as much trouble getting yours!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on September 30, 2009  

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16 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 9-30

    Yes, very country and fall looking………so beautiful! I started networking, hopefully I can scare some up!

  2. 9-30

    Great decorating idea! I have already tilled mine under :-(
    That wee kitty at the top of the stairs is a real cutie-pie!

  3. 9-30

    Fun! I am going on a hunt for stalks today!

    Love your site! Told my daughter-in-law (city girl gone country) about it. She wants to BE you! She now has two young female goats and they didn’t come with any directions. Now she’s in a quandry as to how to get them to the point of milk producing. I’m sure your site with help!

    Great blog!!

  4. 9-30

    I love fodder shocks! If I could get corn to grow down here I would have atleast a couple.
    People here don’t know what a fodder shock is. The look at me like I’m crazy when I say, “I want a fodder shock”.

  5. 9-30

    They make nice windbreaks for in the chicken/goat runs. They might go outside more often to get some air if they get used to the colder weather. I have two standing in the corners of the run and the corn that didn’t grow to be big enough to eat is perfect for the chickens to eat :hungry: .
    Your buff hen looks just about like ours do–such a lovely copper!

  6. 9-30

    Fodder shocks symbolize the best season ever (IMO).

    I think it is funny that here, in suburbia, growing corn in a backyard is discouraged, but when tied up in bundles and placed in the FRONT yard, they become fall decor. Crazy suburbs!

    County people have all the common sense. Love your fodder shocks and your self-sufficiency is an inspiration.

    Go Fall!!

    Working hard at

  7. 9-30

    Another good thing about fodder shocks is that they can stay out all fall! Very nice…
    Your chicken are so pretty…are they for eating also? We raised chicken growing up…as much as I hate the whole killing part of farming, they sure did taste good.

  8. 9-30

    No, we keep our chickens for the eggs! (Not that we get many of them, LOL.)

  9. 9-30

    Oh, Suzanne are you making the leap from Romance to Horror? Scarey scarecrow story….ekkkkkk…..just dont add mean rooster or I wont be able to read….scarecrows, mean roosters, scarey stuff.

  10. 9-30

    Oh, oh, cgReno, I was already planning my comment before I saw yours! I wanted to suggest that Suzanne actually sic Mean Rooster on Scarecrow!!

    And, alas, I am one of the citified people who did not know what a fodder shock was until I read this post. My Mom, a Pennsylvania farm girl, would be so ashamed of me!!! Now I’ll have to read her biography (she wrote it when she was in her 80s) again to see if she mentioned it. She was full of stories right up to the day she passed on at 101.5 years of age!!

  11. 9-30

    Yes thats that way its done in the country! Beautiful!!

    Bet you might find a kitten or two in amongst your stalks! :help:

  12. 9-30

    I made one for the front porch last week from our garden (I asked the husband to please not cut it down as I wanted it for just this purpose) and put our homegrown pumpkins in front of it, although I must admit, I never knew they were called “fodder shocks”.
    Fall is my favorite!
    Kimberly in NC

  13. 9-30

    Love your fodder shocks – In our neck of the woods, we call ’em corn shocks. I’ve got one around our lamp post with pumpkins and potted mums at the base. I just love fall! Reading your blog is one of the highlights of my day! Thanks Suzanne.

  14. 9-30

    I didn’t know that was what they were called! I always think of fall when I see them, and it’s a fun way to use something that otherwise would just become compost. :) Very cute!

  15. 9-17

    I never knew corn stalks were called this! Ok – now Imust have some of my own…need to find Fodder Shocks…..
    Thanks for the great blog. I love all the pics of your hens and cats. My favorite animals :)

  16. 10-18

    Where does the word foddershock come from?

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