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 Post subject: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
A few years back I bought some mexican corn at the local market.
It grew fairly well the next year.
Planted more of the seed, this year.
Here's the results...
Image
I kinda like growing it for a couple reasons...
When people passing by, they look at my garden and see the sunflowers, and the corn.
They ask about tomatoes... I give them some squash. lol
Then they ask, "What is that?", pointing at the baccy... I tell them, 'My tobacco'.
"Didn't know it grew here", they always say.

Some time back I read where the mexicans are really upset at monsanto for destroying the integrity of their corn.
...Seems they have 22 indigenous varieties of corn in mexico.
HAD...
Now it seems, everything down there is polluted with gmo corn strains.

I grow this colored corn as a decoration, for entertainment..
Is this bad?
Should I destroy the seed so it does not contaminate all the other corn I try to grow?
Your thoughts?

Tnx
rc


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:16 pm 
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Location: West Central Fl.
not the corns fault. Monsanto did it.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:20 pm 
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
In all likelihood, it's not GMO contaminated. I'd grow more of it.

If you're interested, I have some Oaxaca Green Dent corn that I can send you. I planted it this year for their fat cobs. I'm hoping to make a decent corn cob pipe. When the silks were showing, I broke off a ripe tassel, and dusted it on every ear, to improve the pollination.

Image

It grew to over 9'.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:21 pm 
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Location: West Tennessee
RC looks like poor pollination to me. I would keep it away from things like sweet corn to avoid cross pollination. I think the diffrent shaped kernels are the nature of some of those colored corns myself. Y'all not getting any 3 eyed deer or anything like that are ya :P


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
lol

None with 3 eyes, but they are true kalifornia deer around here... a little bit taller than a german shepard, and about the same weight.
It costs about $150 to go out looking for a place to hunt. Plus fuel cost.
and there ain't many places to hunt legally, but plenty of wardens.

Those look really good, Bob! Did you make that pipe?
I will do as you say and pass a tassel around, next year.

The sweet corn she grew was at the other end of the garden, and on a different schedule.
It was grown from a storebought package of seed, and came out pretty good.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:08 am 
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Location: NE Washington
RC, It looks like a type of Dent corn to me too. There is nothing wrong with it. The missing kernels is due to low pollination. Each kernel has a silk attached to it and each silk must get pollinated for the kernel to develop. If you plant corn in blocks instead of long rows, you will get much better pollination.

Last year we grew Hopi Blue corn for Sustainable Seed Co. It's a type of Dent corn that get ears 10-12 inches long and is a deep blue/black color. It looks a lot like the darkest corn in Bob's photo. Ours got 10-12 feet high and was the biggest greenest corn you ever saw, but only produced 1 ear per plant. It took 90 days to start blooming and 2/3 of it froze before it matured. Wind and rain took down the plants when they started passing 8'-9'. And you can't prop corn back up like you can with tobacco. Hopi Blue corn isn't suited for this climate and short growing season. Won't grow it again.

This year we grew a short season heirloom yellow corn for Sustainable Seed. It only got 4'-5' high but produced 2-3 nice ears per plant. We were eating it last month, and the rest is nearly dry on the stalk now and ready to harvest for seed. We will get a near bumper crop from our little corn patch. Quite a difference from last year. There is a lot of variety amongst corns.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:22 am 
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
I planted the Oaxaca corn at the end of April, and harvested it dry at the end of August.

I'll allow the fattest ears to fully dry-down indoors for several months, before attempting to make a pipe. At the far right of the photo of the Oaxaca corn ears is a trial pipe I whittled from a runty ear of Bloody Butcher corn. That cob would only accommodate a 1/2" tobacco hole. The Oaxaca ears are up to 3/4" thicker, so I'm hoping I can get a 7/8" tobacco hole. My fantasy is to figure out a way to make the pipe with the green kernels still firmly attached, but I don't think that's possible. (Bloody Butcher is a flint corn, that is, a popcorn, so I might have to wear a face shield to smoke it with the kernels on.)

Bob

EDIT: I meant 7/8" tobacco hole. Good catch, RC.


Last edited by deluxestogie on Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:16 am 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Tnx Sky..
Yup, there's a lot I don't know about corn!
Now I gotta learn about dnet and flint! lol

Next year (( I )) will not let others do the garden layout, even though they have much more energy than I, and move a lot faster.

I will do as DS said, and assist polination manually.

Pollination with the storebought sweet corn was not bad. It was the raised rows and aisles that I did not like.
And the rows were running the wrong direction to make use of the rest of the garden properly.
Yes, I had planned to make one tighter spaced block of corn instead of short rows with aisles!

My mexican corn was planted at the edge of the garden near the street to give people something to look at and recognize easily. More than anything it was a shield ! lol and probably the worst layout for suitable pollination. Thinking about it, yesterday I found more ears that were not pollinated at all, than those I picked which had been at least partially pollinated.

Sounds like you have a good plan, Bob!
I really do not care for pipes with a smallish bowl on them. Kinda of a waste of time for the likes of me! lol
I'd like to build a nice bent Bulldog with a 7/8 bowl.

How far apart would you think it necessary to keep corn strains from cross-pollinating?
I had a good 60-70 ft this year, with somewhat of a barrier between the two areas.
Next year I hope to get the tillers all in working order and will try to expand the garden at least a few hundred more sq ft.

I've expanded pretty much as close as I can go towards the creekside, now. Each year I grow squash and sunflowers in the rocks at the edge. This year I added some corn for good measure! lol

Local news claims this past year was 3rd dryest on record. Only 3 1/2" rain, so far this year.
The drip system is very beneficial for me!

Probably 3L per plant, double that for vining plants, and 4L for each baccy plant when the leaf gets large.

This year I'll manage to save seed for 2 corns, cherry tomatoes, squash, chick peas, kentucky beans, onions, melons, pickle cukes, cilantro, and arbol peppers. Oh! I produced a lot of lemon cucumbers, so will have plenty of that seed for next year, also!

Want to get some turban squash going for next year!
nr set me up for hots... Wow! We gonna BURN next year, if all goes well! :-)

Next year will be silkleaf, havana, and a couple other strains ONLY! KISS !!! No more than 5 strains, about 75 plants. Tops.

Focus will be on the hots! I really want to learn about them.

rc


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:39 pm 
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Location: Clover S.C.
You want the hots Rusty? look into the Ghost peppers.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:23 pm 
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
RC,
I meant 7/8" tobacco hole for the corn cob pipe. Nice catch. (I've cheated, and gone back and edited the post.)

My Oaxaca Green Dent corn was planted closely, in a 5' x 6' patch, staggering the close rows.

Image
July 4. Standing water after rains.

Image
July 14.

Image
July 18.

Image
August 10.

  • Sweet corn is what you buy at the store, for fresh eating.
  • Dent corn (the sides of each kernel shrink less than the center, so it forms a dimple) can be eaten fresh when young, but is not as sweet. It is usually dried and ground for animal feed, or for making tortillas.
  • Flint corn is popcorn. Traditionally, it was also slow-cooked, or dried and ground for tortillas.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Location: NE Washington
..."How far apart would you think it necessary to keep corn strains from cross-pollinating?"...

A mile or more. A mile is considered the minimum distance with trees and terrain. Two miles or more is needed if your in an open area. Corn is a wind pollinated grass and will easily cross pollinate. It has the highest distance requirement of anything I know of for separation. We only grow one type per year. If you think bagging tobacco gets to be a pain, you should see what it takes to bag and hand pollinate hybrid corn or to grow multiple strains for seed. Tobacco is easy. lol

The development of modern day sweet corn has quite a fascinating history. It includes natural mutations, Americas first war, and even atomic bombs to get to where it is today.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:37 am 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
So we need more a bombs?

:twisted:

lol

I would like to read your source info on the history of corn, if you recall where it is located, Sky.
I enjoy reading things like that...

So I can see I shall be unable to segregate corn.. well, without bagging it... and we have learned how to do that !

Perhaps I could try a time-staggered planting??? Probably not... even in my little two-horse town I have no control over what any neighbor might wish to plant.

LOL
So this is the root of wisdom buying from specialized seed vendors...

:-)
rc


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:09 pm 
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Location: NE Washington
Source: "Breeding the nutrition out of our food,” New York Times, (http://www.nytimes.com), May 25, 2013

The curious case of corn

Corn was long the No. 1 crop grown in America. And it’s not because we ate so much corn-on-the-cob. Rather, corn goes into many different types of products. Manufacturers use it to make the low-cost sweetener high-fructose corn syrup. They put it in cosmetics, glue, and shoe polish. And they even put it in our gas tanks as ethanol (thanks to government mandates).

Yes, corn is a remarkably used–and abused–commodity in the 21st century.

Even when we eat it naturally, as “corn on the cob,” it’s not very natural anymore. This corn is nutritionally deprived. Plus, if you bought it at your regular grocery store, chances are it’s been genetically altered. In fact, almost 90 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. today is genetically modified.

But corn wasn’t always such an abused vegetable, as pointed out in a recent New York Times article. It was once an extremely important natural food source in America. Indeed, the quintessentially American food.

The origins of corn date back thousands of years. It actually derives from a wild grass called teosinte that grew in Mesoamerica (what is today’s Mexico and Central America).

Like a wild grass, teosinte has short spikes instead of “ears.” Each spike contains only about 5 to 12 kernels. The shells surrounding the kernels are so hard and thick, you have to crack them like a nut to open them.

The dry kernels contain mainly starch, a little sugar, and some protein. Teosinte actually has 10 times more protein than the corn we eat today.

Plant geneticists now think that teosinte underwent several spontaneous mutations hundreds of years ago. Eventually, the spikes evolved into a cob with kernels of many different colors.

Native Americans, living in Mesoamerica began to cultivate this grain as a crop. And it became the mainstay of rapidly growing populations in the form of maize.

By the 1400s, people living throughout Mexico based their diets on corn. And soon, corn spread throughout the Americas. Eventually, European colonists encountered “Indian corn” when they began settling in New England and Virginia in the early 1600s. They also used cobs to make pipes for smoking tobacco, another Native American plant. They even used cobs for early bathroom sanitation.

But this “Indian corn” did not closely resemble what we eat today.

In the mid-1600s, John Winthrop Jr., governor of the colony of Connecticut wrote about Indian corn. He said Native Americans grew “corne with great variety of colours.” He observed “red, yellow, blew, olive colour, and greenish, and some very black and some of intermediate degrees.”

We now know that Indian corn was colorful because it contained many important nutrients, such as anthocyanins and carotenoids. These natural pigments demonstrate potential to fight cancer, control inflammation, lower cholesterol, and reduce blood pressure. They also appear to protect the aging brain. And even reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Early European colonists knew only this corn. And they were content with this colorful variety until the summer of 1779. That year, the colonists discovered something tastier for their European palates. They discovered a yellow variety of corn, with sweeter and more tender kernels.

This sweet, yellow corn came to light during the Revolutionary War when General George Washington fought against Iroquois tribes. During this campaign, colonial soldiers came across a field of unusually sweet yellow corn. Lieutenant Richard Bagnal took some seeds home to grow. And to share with others. This variety became the “old-fashioned” yellow corn that was thence cultivated in the new nation.

Eventually, in the 1830s another gentleman farmer in Connecticut bred an even sweeter, whiter variety of corn. He said he wanted to get rid of the “awful” yellowness of the corn. This meant he got rid of most of the nutrients too.

But even that corn wasn’t sweet enough.

Beginning in the 1920s, plant geneticists exposed corn seeds to radiation to learn more about the normal arrangement of plant genes. They mutated seeds by exposing them to x-rays, cobalt radiation, and toxic compounds. They also exposed them to genotoxins that damage DNA. Today, the government considers these genotoxins carcinogenic.

In the 1940s, scientists graduated to blasts of atomic radiation. It was the Nuclear Age, after all. Scientists stored these irradiated kernels in a seed bank. And made them available for research.

In 1959, a geneticist named John Laughnan began to study a handful of “mutant,” irradiated kernels. He put a few in his mouth. And he gave them a “glowing” recommendation.

Actually, the corn was no longer radioactive. But he loved their intense sweetness. Lab tests showed that they were up to 10 times sweeter than ordinary sweet corn. Apparently, atomic radiation turned on the corn gene that makes sugar. Or perhaps it simply poisoned the other genes that make the nutrients in corn.

This mutant corn quickly revolutionized the corn industry. Laughnan gave up science. And quickly became a business entrepreneur. He developed commercial varieties of “super-sweet” corn. And began selling his first hybrids in 1961.

And voila.

This became the first genetically modified food to enter the U.S. food supply. Few people realize this is actually how genetically modified crops first entered the food supply in this country.

And it didn’t take long for the super-sweet GM corn to overtake the entire country. Within one generation, these new extra super-sweet varieties outsold even old-fashioned sweet corn in the marketplace.

And today, most of the fresh corn available in our food supply is the super-sweet variety. You can trace all these newer varieties back to the radiation experiments in the 1940s.

The kernels are either white, pale yellow, or a combination of the two. The sweetest varieties approach 40 percent sugar, bringing new meaning to the term “candy corn.” Although, ironically even candy corn has deep yellow, red, and even black coloration.

Very few farmers in the United States still grow multicolored “Indian corn.” And it’s generally sold as a seasonal decoration. And not consumed as a food.

So when you shop for some corn-on-the cob this summer, look for organic varieties with the deepest color. These will be the most nutritious. In fact, corn with deep yellow kernels has nearly 60 times more carotenoids than white corn. Plus, they can’t be genetically modified if they’re labeled organic.

To regain the lost anthocyanins and carotenoids, you can also use blue, red, or purple cornmeal. You can find this in some supermarkets. And on the internet. Some manufacturers are now even making snack foods with blue, red or purple cornmeal."


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:24 pm 
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Location: NE Washington
rustycase wrote:

Perhaps I could try a time-staggered planting??? Probably not... even in my little two-horse town I have no control over what any neighbor might wish to plant.


Yes, you can stagger varieties that bloom at different times. We could probably have grown the Hopi Blue corn and the Yukon Chief sweet corn (this years variety) together because their bloom time is a good 6 weeks apart. But, like you said, you have to know what the neighbor upwind is growing.

Here's a link to the page on corn at seedsave.org They have some pretty good info on saving seeds from vegetables. http://www.seedsave.org/issi/904/experienced.html


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 Post subject: Re: Should I BURN this corn???
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:47 am 
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Thank you, Sky!

Whew!
I've really been working my stress level higher, lately...

...


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