Friday, August 9, 2013

About That 'Glass Gem' Corn...

Last year, I fell under the spell of a photo of 'Glass Gem' corn that was making the rounds on Facebook and Pinterest and in investigating the origin, found that the seed was distributed exclusively by Native Seeds in Arizona.  In order to grow this very special corn, I had to get on a waiting list and each recipient would be limited to just 50 seeds.

Serendipitously, I got to visit the home of Native Seeds when I attended the Garden Writers Association annual symposium in Tucson last October.  While there, I learned more about the seed and got to see it up close and personal before receiving my packet in late winter.

It's been a good year for corn.  It's been a good year for just about anything, with the regular rain we've been receiving.  We've been eating sweet corn from our garden for the last two or three weeks, but the 'Glass Gem' has been a slow one.

All our corn was planted on the same day.  We grew three different varieties of regular sweet corn in addition to 'Glass Gem', and each had a different maturity rate.  That way we would have continual harvest for several weeks and no doubt we would be just about sick of eating sweet corn by the time it was over.

Even the roots of 'Glass Gem' are beautiful!

'Glass Gem' isn't meant to be eaten right off the cob, although I do wonder what it would taste like if you did.  It's used for making flour or as popcorn.  We'll try it as popcorn.

I have concerns about what we'll actually get when the corn is ready.  It's being grown in a plot with other corn varieties and the large field behind us has corn in it this year.  No doubt there has been some cross-pollination going on.  It's really too early to tell with this one and maybe because it's so much later than the other corn, there's no need for concern.  We'll see, but it looks like we might have a bumper crop of it, in any case...

Just like the field corn we've seen, 'Glass Gem' has some stalks
with THREE ears on them!


Terra said...

Oh Kylee, the corn is intriguing and I hope it pops deliciously for you. My current post is about our potatoes in a pail, a fun garden thing too.

Jay said...

Thank you so much for your post. However - I am highly surprised that Native Seeds would not half their list of recipients and provide 100 seeds per customer. Growing only 50 plants could lead to a bad case of inbreeding depression - if you actually wanted to save the seed for yourself.

Kylee Baumle said...

Terra ~ Who would have thought that a five-gallon pail would be big enough to grow potatoes? Very cool, Terra!

Jay ~ I had to look that up (inbreeding depression) and yes, that IS surprising, considering corn is one of the worst for this. That would be a good question for them...

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