My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, www.rosemary-ridge.blogspot.com ... thank you!

Corn Varieties

Next on the list.... corn. An essential to grow for self-reliance. Can be used to feed our critters and ourselves... in many ways.

Again, we planted way too many varieties and because of the weather and soil (more like just sand) and other circumstances, none did wonderfully well. As a matter of fact, only one Black Aztec corn seed sprouted ... out of four packs sown! Nope! What we did this year didn't work... on so many levels.

We have since refigured out where to put what on our little acreage. We have sectioned out an area 10'x39' in the fenced backyard, far from where we plan to put tomatoes in the future (share the same pest), but within the fence that will hopefully keep out scavenging rabbits. The "cornfield" is actually a little bigger than 10'x39' but I need rows to walk! This Fall will see us rototilling it and getting the chickens to "fertilize" the area every good weather day. Should be ready for planting by next spring. That area is 390' of planting space, which means:
-1 corn plant in each square foot = 390 stalks
-2 bean seeds per square foot = 780 bean vines
-100-120 vining winter squash plants

Lots of good eating! Should keep our family and our critters in food till the next year's crop.

So, from now on, we want only **1** corn that will fulfill all of our needs. Here's what we are looking for ...

- short growing season (90 days, but less is preferred)
- strong stalk, able to handle beans wrapping around it
- lots of ears with lots of kernels!
- can eat fresh picked or dried on the stalk for storage
- good for humans AND critters (chickens, quail, rabbit and a little bit for goats)
- high in fiber and protein
- hardy
- good to grind into a powder/flour
- heirloom (non-gmo, and so we can save seeds to grow)

Is there one that will do above? Would a popcorn be a better choice? Or a field corn?

I know my list about is asking a lot out of a corn, but we don't want to grow more than one. Our neighbors grow corn too, so there's always a chance to cross-pollinate, but we need a good starter that meets our needs.

So ... any suggestions? Comments?

2 comments:

fullfreezer said...

Last year (2009 season) we grew Bloody Butcher corn. It was great eating fresh and matured to make this lovely purple cornmeal when ground. The growing season is longer than you'd like (100 days).
A friend of mine grew Mandan Bride. I checked and it's an 85-90 day variety. He grew it strictly for dried corn so I'm not sure how it is fresh. But, how bad can it be? I've eaten field corn before it matured and it wasn't too bad.
I think (Not completely sure so don't hold me to it) that the Mandan Bride- and many other "indian corn" varieties are open pollenated so it shouldn't matter if the neighbors are growing something different.
Judy

Vee and the Kid said...

It's a little late, but thank you so much for your input. We might be going with blood butcher. Making the decision this week.