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Painted Mountain Corn  RSS feed

 
Posts: 122
Location: Sacramento
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I saw this, and as I did not already find a reference to it, thought it too valuable not to share.

Thirty one years ago I started growing rare lines of cold hardy northern corn for my family's grain in Montana. Modern corn wouldn't mature in the mountains where I lived, so I had to work with heirloom Native corns. I learned that about 12 lines of Mandan Indian corn had been saved in the national seed bank, but those lines appear somewhat inbred. I began a search for corn still kept alive by Indian families and descendants of homesteaders. After years of evaluation and crossing I eventually created a large and diverse gene pool. I exposed this corn to the severe stress of my Montana home, selecting only the hardiest to breed from. I called this Painted Mountain Corn.

http://www.seedweneed.com/index-1.html
 
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
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Fascinating! There is also a stunning picture of Glass Gem corn that is going around on Facebook.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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I'm happy for you, I'm trying an OP sweet corn variety called Festivity this year from bountiful gardens
 
Posts: 57
Location: Los Angeles
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amazing!
 
Posts: 95
Location: NW Montana
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Did anybody try this corn in 2012? I live in the Montana mountains and want to try it out. Has anybody here grown it and cooked with it?

Johnnyseeds has it in stock and I will be ordering some for next spring, unless there is a local or better place to get it from.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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We grew a couple hundred lbs of this corn this year. We really like it. The genetic diversity is very high, the possibilities in line selection are endless( even for creating new types of corn)

I make nixtamal with it for tortillas, tamales and other masa made products. They are excellent, actually there better.

It makes good cornbread too.

Next year my goal is 500+ lbs of dry corn in the polyculture

The amount of different colored and patterned kernals is mind-blowing, every shade of every color.
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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A more local place to get it (Oregon) is Territorial Seeds:
Organic Painted Mountain Corn
 
Glenn Underhill
Posts: 95
Location: NW Montana
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Thanks for the feedback and the help guys. Jordan, how much seed did you plant to get your couple hundred pounds and what else do you grow in the polyculture? Did you have any insect pests? And what is your technique for nixtamalizing the grain?

Are you planting next year with saved seed? Please update us next fall!

John I will be checking Territorial for the seed and other things, thanks.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Yeah. I have been using Territorial seeds since I moved to Seattle ('97) and have never been disappointed.
At least for 'West of the Cascades', they are the go-to company for seeds.
They trial just about everything on their own farm there.

I'm planning to move east of the Cascades (so I'll have to re-learn gardening).
I wasn't sure if corn would make it in a short summer zone 5, but it appears that the Painted Mountain should thrive there.

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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I didn't weigh what I planted but I'd say around half-3/4 of a lb. Not that much really, this corn yields well. I can pay attention more next year to seed planted vs yield, yes I will be saving seed from now on. The polyculture had over 20 species easily, next year it will be closer to one hundred. Too many to list. No problem with bugs.

I nixttamalize with lime not lye.
 
Posts: 73
Location: Central Valley California
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I grew a packet this summer on the ground that was the overturned clay that they had dug out for the new septic tank. Very poor stuff, but the painted corn held strong even through the hot summer of the Central Valley, California. I grew it side by side with sweet corn, and it sprouted much faster than the sweet corn. The ears were small, but they were gorgeous, man, really pretty. I was surprised at how hard the kernels were. I was expecting something like sweet corn, crisp and sweet, but this corn is different. If I had of known how to process it, I would have eaten it; instead, I ground it up for the chickens who wolfed it down. I saved the seed for next spring, and I can't wait to see how it performs in better ground and to see how it tastes when I process it into masa or cornbread.
 
Glenn Underhill
Posts: 95
Location: NW Montana
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Hey Sheila - sounds good that it grows in pure clay. I first heard about this corn here http://www.survivalblog.com/2012/11/a-corn-chronicle-by-shepherdfarmergeek.html, it is a pretty good write up that a guy did with it for a season. Seems like the price is going up too, lucky you saved some seeds.

Nothing wrong with growing chicken feed. I'll probably do that too along with eating it myself.
 
Posts: 1120
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
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chicken dog hugelkultur
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this sounds like some epic corn, i do like all these old maize species, i, however have grown up on GMO sweet corn(terrible i know) so i would love to find something so hardy that would be at least half as tastey eaten on the ear

dont get me wrong though, reading through this stuff gets me excited and makes me think buying seed may bea great idea
 
Glenn Underhill
Posts: 95
Location: NW Montana
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Rocky Mountain Corn has it for sale now, I just ordered a pound.
 
Posts: 165
Location: Slovakia
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Anyone know what happened to Dave Christensen and seedweneed.com? The website is down. I wanted to read more about it. Anyway, I've got some and am planting it tomorrow (after the overnight soaking suggested by the rocky mountain seeds).
 
Posts: 64
Location: cornwall, england
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books tiny house urban
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Hey there, know this is a really old thread but I just ordered 60 gem corn seeds to plant here in Ireland. I have no corn growing experience and we can only buy sweetcorn here so any propagating growing harvesting and processing tips would make me very happy and grateful
 
pollinator
Posts: 235
Location: Montana
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natasha todd wrote:Hey there, know this is a really old thread but I just ordered 60 gem corn seeds to plant here in Ireland. I have no corn growing experience and we can only buy sweetcorn here so any propagating growing harvesting and processing tips would make me very happy and grateful



I'm fairly sure gem corn is a flint type. Do you ever save your seed for sweet corn? To grow a grain corn such as flint, dent, flour, or popcorn you just leave the cobs on the plant until they are dry. If you have to harvest a little early because of weather either frost or rain you can dry the cobs inside. Seed will have some viability as long as it gets to the milk stage on the plant. The milk stage incidentally is the stage at which you eat sweet corn.  I grow a variety of flint called Nuetta. Nuetta is a flint that was traditionally eaten as a sweet. All corn/maize can be eaten at the milk or sweet stage. If it gets all the way ripe and dry it can be used as a decoration, or ground for cornmeal, or saved as seed, or all three.

Corn is fully ripe and dry when the husks dry out and the kernels get very hard. Whenever you harvest shuck the ears or at least pull the shucks back. I discard ears that mold.

To save the seed I just let it dry fully on the cob. Then shell it with my fingers and put it away in an envelope.

To breed a new variety I just  plant two varieties of any type I fancy side by side and pick out any kernels that look like the other parent. Then replant those that meet my goals. If I were you and I had a favorite sweet corn i was seed saving and I wanted a flint I would take a few seeds of my gem corn and make sure to plant them with my sweet and let them cross, maybe even dettassle them. Then if my gem corn seemed unsatisfactory in some way such as lack of adaptation to my climate I could be on my way to creating from it a satisfactory kind.


 
natasha todd
Posts: 64
Location: cornwall, england
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Than you William!

I have never grown any corn at all as I have always lived right by the sea in Ireland and the wind coming off the ocean just mangles tall things.
My seed is arriving in a week, I'm worried the season won't be long enough but Aw well I'll see how it all goes.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 235
Location: Montana
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I'm not sure if gem corn will do well for you or not but it should be fun to try. If it doesn't don't be discouraged. If we can grow short season corns like painted mountain that are ripe in 80 frost free days on the windy high plains of Montana I suspect you'll be able to find corn varieties that will do well!
 
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