Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Corn progress

So here are a few pictures of the corn. The first shows "Cascade", the corn developed by Carol Deppe from Oregon. As you can (barely) see by this picture, most of the stalks are well over 12 inches tall. This is pretty amazing since I planted the seed in cool, damp conditions....just the type of weather corn doesn't really like. I can't wait to see the results. It's supposed to have the ability to produce "sister lines" of corn which may allow for both grinding and parching depending on the color of the kernels on the cob: red ears make good parching corn. and a sweet flour for breads and cakes. Brown ears make for good savory breads and a "wonderful brown gravy". Ivory and creamy yellow ears make a flavourful flour for sweet breads like pancakes but aren't great for parching. These are all notations from Carol's book. I have yet to experience all the nuances of growing anything other than sweet corn for fresh eating (bleck). So I'm excited for the corn harvest this year.

Here's a pic of Painted Mountain, the "Montana" corn develped by a very dedicated man here in the mountains. As you can see, it doesn't have quite the kick of Cascade, but at a little over 12 inches after 6 weeks, it's still making a show. My animals love this corn so even if I can't produce anything humaly edible from these kernals, at least I know my chickens will be sustained. Plus, I saved this seed from last year. So I KNOW I can reproduce this food. Yeay!

This Supai Red parching corn is making a weaker showing at just 12 inches tall after 6 weeks. This corn hasn't shown the spark of the other two, so if the hype of this parching corn isn't reproducable then it might not have a furture place in our garden. Good gardening space is just too precious to waste on an iffy product. The harvest will tell the story.

Lastly, this Mandan is struggling at barely 10 inches after 6 weeks. The germination was weak and continues to be frail in it's growing pattern. If the Cascade continues to perform well, it will provide the flour we will need in future gardens and this flour type corn might have to be relegated to more temperate areas of the country.

The sweet corn from Burpee that was supposed to be a short season corn didn't even spout (darn the luck!) So I won't be buying that type of seed again.

Well, that's it for the corn update. More to come as time rolls on! (Sorry for the poor picture quailty. It was about 10:30 at night when I took these and the light was failing.)

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