Thursday, April 28, 2016


If you follow this blog you have gathered Ralph and I both have seed catalog impulse control disorder! It was bad enough when we had no room. We had to draw the line with limited space. However now we have room....if its crazy and colorful, we can try to grow it. Self control is out the window, but oh it is fun to be bad!

So I have to tell you about our corn selections and the few that "Mr" Ralph slipped past me!

1- Yurackallhua Incan corn
 From Baker Creek:
These Kernels are huge and ....well we just had to try it!
In the Urrabamba Valley and adjacent areas in Peru grows this monster corn, it is probably the largest race of corn on earth, a single kernel weighs in at a gram a piece.. 30 % larger than the next “biggest corn”! Yurracklallhua is a late maturing corn from the Andes, it probably will need at least 150 days to ripen, and may get skyscraper tall. If you succeed in growing this behemoth your corn will be the talk of the town. In Peru, the giant cobs are boiled the mealy chewy kernels are a delicacy, much heartier than any sweet corn ever was, but a real belly filler! The dried kernels are boiled for long periods and added to stews and soups.
Yurackallhua Incan corn

2- Black Mexican Sweet Corn 
 Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:

Mexican Black Corn

(Mexican Sweet, Black Iroquois) (white at edible stage) 76 days. [1864. Despite its name, it appears to have originated in upper NY, and was probably derived from Iroquois Black Puckers. The name may have been given by a seed company trying to give novelty to its seed offerings, a practice not uncommon in the late 1800s.] The kernels, white at milk stage, change to bluish-black in the late milk stage. Exceptional flavor. 5½ ft. plants. 7½ x 1½ in. ears, typically with 8 rows of kernels. Harvest several days before kernels show color to several days afterwards. Though adapted to New England, it does well as an early-to-mid-season crop in the South.

 This corn is a cornmeal corn but is very good eating if picked at the milk stage before it gets really black.

Ready to eat Mexican Black Corn

3-Thompson's Prolific
Baker Creek:

Thompson's Prolific
Excellent pale yellow dent type, very productive. Sturdy, 8-9 foot stalks frequently make two heavy 8-inch ears. This variety was recommended for Tennessee farmers in the 1936 USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, and was offered in the Richmond, Virginia area in the 1930's. An excellent choice for the middle South. Great for oven roasting, grilling or just plain fresh eating! (90-110 days)

4- Aunt Mary's Sweet corn
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:

Aunt Mary's Sweet Corn
An old variety white sweet corn, ears  7" to 8" long on plants that are 6' to 8' tall.  Fairly short season, ready to eat in 65 days from planting. This was once a popular commercial canning variety from the early 1900's.  This is a good choice for farmers market growers from both a quality and sustainable standpoint.

5-Country Gentleman
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:
 Notice the irregular non row set of the kernels.

 Country Gentleman Shoepeg Corn

 (Shoepeg) (white) 93 days. [1891] The dense, round kernels are irregularly arranged instead of in rows, giving these ears a striking appearance. The sweet 8 in. ears remain in the milk stage longer than many varieties. 2 ears per stalk. A favorite for freezing and creamed corn. Well known throughout the Hudson Valley, well adapted to the northern Mid-Atlantic. More resistant to corn smut than earlier, smaller varieties.

6- Stowells Evergreen
Baker Creek:

 Nice uniform kernels on a good sized cob.

This is among the oldest sweet corn that is still in production, predating 1949. It is still a favorite of many, producing tasty white kernels. The plants used to be pulled up when completely ripe, and hung upside-down in a cool pantry; the ears would last well into the winter, in a semi-fresh state. In 1873, the seeds sold for 25 cents per pint.

7- Luther Hill Sweet Corn
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:

 We hope this corn tastes as good as it looks!

 (white) 82 Days. [Developed 1902 in Andover Township, NJ, by Rutgers University horticulturist Luther Hill.] Produces two 6 in. ears on each 5½ ft. tall stalk. A home garden variety adapted to the Appalachian foothills. Can be grown as far north as southern Ontario. Flavor is unsurpassed compared to other open pollinated corns. One of the parental lines of the very successful ‘Silver Queen’ hybrid sweet corn. Still used by breeders to impart exceptional flavor to hybrid sweet corn. Does best on a well-drained ridge, not soggy bottom.

8- Oaxacan  Green Dent
Baker Creek:

 This was my number one pick because green is my favorite color....not the most scientific selection method but it worked for me!

This photo does not do the kernels justice, they almost glow and each one is slightly different!
 85-100 days. The stunningly beautiful ears of corn come in a range of greens, from yellow-green through emerald, with every imaginable shade in between. The deeply dented kernels have been used for centuries by the Zapotec people to make a regional favorite, green-flour tamales. Also makes excellent cornbread! The 6- to 10-inch ears are superb in arrangements and for fall decoration. Plants reach 7 feet, are very drought-tolerant, and perform well even at higher latitudes. Amazing and cool!

Last but not least is....

9- Texas Gourdseed.
Baker Creek:

 We liked the history behind this corn plus it is a good cooking corn and I hope to make  more of  my own cornmeal products this year ahead.

120 days—Prior to the Civil War, gourd-seed corns were among the most prevalent types throughout the South. The kernels are very long or deep, but very small in the amount of space they take up on each ear. This gives them a different appearance than other corns; fancifully compared to the seeds of gourds. The stalks on this variety are a modest 8 feet in height; usually producing two ears per stalk. Each ear contains 18 to 20 rows of cream-colored, dent-type kernels. It is considered to be among the most flavorful of dent types, and is beloved in tortillas, puddings, dumplings, corn bread and more. Can be harvested for fresh eating at the milk stage, about 73 days. Tolerates drought and clay soils better than most, too. Originally brought to Texas by farmers of German descent who migrated there from Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee in the late 19th century.

So there is the tall and short of our corn selections. This is a lot of corn but we want to find out what grows the best here and is the most use to us. 2016 will be the year of the great experiments and this is one of them.
I hope these varieties are interesting to you and give you ideas to try...they have all stood the test of time!

Take care and God Bless you all.


  1. Thank you for this post. Very interesting and I learned a lot about corn varieties. I used to know a man who loved those Mexican old varieties. He had a popcorn that was very prolific, that he would grind for the cornmeal his family used. If you want GMO-free corn in the USA, you just about have to grow it yourself. Rock On!! Hugs

    1. Our feed Mill is run by Amish, they are very concerned about GMO. He says it gets harder and harder to find non-gmo for chicken and small stock feed. He is interested in some of the corn varieties we are trying.

  2. Who knew about giant corn, green corn, dented corn...:) What a 'corn'ucopia of corn you will have (sorry...) I will be waiting to hear how it all turns out - especially that green corn. Green is my favorite color, too, and I would have chosen it in a heartbeat.

    1. Ahh there is nothing like green corn and a fabulous pun in the Morning! I am really excited about the Oaxacan corn. Ralph keeps going out to check for germination....he is jumping the gun a bit!

  3. Country Gentleman is a great corn. It has been very reliable for us here. We once grew a blue corn at our old place and it was very good for corn meal.

    I look forward to your updates. Especially on cross pollination, if you have any. It will be interesting to see if you can avoid it with your different varieties.

    1. We have some good information on how to keep strains pure and will try them but this year is more to see how the plants handle the soil and climate.

  4. I love colorful corn! And I know all about the seed addiction thingy, LOL. I stick to only two types of corn now, so I can save seed without cross-pollination. I think I could manage more because of our long growing season, but always seem to run out of time before I run out of planting season.

    For field corn I like Truckers Favorite. It's small kerneled, which means we can feed it to the chickens without cracking (thus eliminating another work step :)

    1. Thank you for that will be tried next year.

  5. I raised a big batch of Indian corn some years back, but that's as exotic as I've tried. Most people here just grow corn for feed, so there isn't much variety.

    1. Thats the problem with using it for doesn't matter if it is tasteless and much is GMO. I think its something like 89% of corn in the US is GMO corn. Not a good statistic at all.

  6. Hi
    I have always wanted to grow lots. Of types of corn and compare them.
    I know you will keep uspostedon the progress.
    Is thegourdseed theonecalledturkeycorn?
    I think it was offered by shim way,s or gurney,s?