Monday, August 15, 2016

It really is Bigger if its from Texas: Texas Gourdseed Corn

It is currently 90 degrees here with humidity of 72 degrees so that makes the "Real Feel" about 102 degrees!

It is not a nice day to work outside in the afternoon so I am going to do a corn post.
I just finished putting up the last of the Texas Gourdseed Corn. (Well there are still a few immature ears I cannot reach that we will eat fresh, when I get Ralph to reach them for me!)


A small patch of 4 rows about 10 feet long and we have 20 quarts of it in the deep freeze. I like this corn. It is not a sweet corn but as I call it a CORNY corn.


Texas Gourdseed Corn [From Baker Creek]

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.

 
Texas Gourdseed Seed Corn 

Now I have found some of this information to be inaccurate. For one thing the corn is well over 10 feet tall. Yes it does have two ears per stalk but the ears I processed all had at least 25 rows and some as many as 29 rows. They do not mention the incredible husks this corn has, tight around the outside with sort of accordion pleats on the inside to allow the growth of the cobs.


 
Texas Gourdseed Cobs just picked
   
I have been learning to cook  more Mexican food and these husks are perfect for tamales. Never mind the thick tight husks make the corn earworm resistant.... you will still get the odd one if your organic and do not use chemicals but they do not seem to be an issue.


 A good sized Husk for tamale making.

You can see how big these husks are. They will roll completely around the cob.

The corn is wonderful fresh eating corn with a rich corn taste and just a hint of sweetness. One cob makes a great meal for two people. The kernels are longer and when it is ready to eat they do not look full as they have the pointed tips of immature corn but this  is deceptive. When you cut the kernels off the cob they are quite long and the empty cobs are actually the same size as  other corn after the kernels are removed. The are a lot bigger with the kernels on.

I have used this corn for fried corn as well as in a stew and chili, it holds up well and adds good flavor. Its nice to cook with. A fresh cob lightly boiled and slathered in butter is mighty good too!



An ear of Texas Gourdseed before I removed the Husk.

 
 The same ear after Husking.

 A nice batch of Texas Gourdseed cobs ready to prep for freezing.


A close up of the longer Kernels.

 Ralph likes the flavor of this corn and we found it has thrived in the hot and humid summer we have had. It has tolerated the dry spells we have had and with-stood some pretty horrible winds and storms and is tall and straight.  It is not planted in the best soil either. We broke new ground at the south end of this garden area, next to the garden the previous owners had. We found out that there used to be a gravel road in this area. It went to the big shop east of the house. {This shop was cut off from the original farm buildings when our 15 acres was subdivided} The corn patch has a huge amount of road gravel in it but the corn has never looked back.

So the word on this "Old" corn from our first year of growing it is it is well worth it. It will be on our list of corn next year in a larger patch. I hope this gives you another selection of corn for your homestead, one off the beaten path of modern varieties. 

 

God Bless you all and stay safe!

 

 

 Please forgive the strange and irregular format....I have had huge problems with Blogger today!

15 comments:

  1. Looks yummy!
    We have never had much luck with corn here. Thankfully, there are plenty of people in our area that do and we can always find some at the farmers markets :)

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    1. We are lucky with this climate for the most part...just think if the corn lives it so do weeds:)

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  2. You are going to have to have Ralph make you a pair of short stilts for corn gathering! Very interesting type of corn. I don't have the space for growing it, but do so enjoy reading about YOUR efforts!

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    1. Space can be a dangerous thing in the hands of two gardening lunatics!

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  3. This post makes me want to try growing Texas Gourdseed corn. I've never heard of it, but it sounds wonderful! I have never ever had any luck growing corn. Sure hope next spring I can get a better garden started in early spring. My back problem almost kept me from growing anything this year, although, I finally did get the tomatoes and beans planted and a few other things. Enjoyed this post.

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    1. I hope your back is doing better! I just finished reading about starting corn in pots. They said since corn roots do not move well, to start it in something that can be planted like peat pots. Starting it about a month before transplanting. It is something you might want to try. Ralph and I might try it too, so we can have early, early corn. I am glad you enjoyed this post. These old varieties have a lot t offer. Luther Hill is another variety you might want to look into.

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  4. I do so agree that the "older" varieties (of any vegetable!) are the ones we should learn how to grow again. So much better nutrition contained within compared to all the hybrids. (But that's just my opinion.) Sad to say, no corn growing (or regular sized tomatoes either) for this northern Minnesota gardener until we somehow, somewhere, some way get that huge hoop house constructed. Even if we were to get the summer heat needed (as we have this year!), our strong winds topple any corn I've ever planted out in the open. Good post, good information. Thanks!

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    1. I am glad you found this interesting. How long is your growing season?
      The old varieties are, how do I put this, wilder...needing less careful treatment. We like them even if they are not uniform, tidy and extremely sweet. This corn is awesome in chili!

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  5. They're huge! Wow. Corn is one of those things they've "improved" so much that now when I buy sweet corn from the store to boil, it's so sweet it tastes phony!

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    1. Our world has come to expect everything to be sweet. (A side effect of HFCS?) This corn is such a real taste. It is fun to experiment with old strains now we have the space to do so. By the way it's not the biggest corn we have, more on it later! :)

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  6. Hi my name is cris. I see how big your corn husk is. Its something im interested. Please contact me incase you are willing to sell some cor. Husk

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    1. I am not selling any as I am still learning how to dry and store the husks to use in cooking. You might be able to get corn husks at a Mexican Grocery store.

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