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.
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.
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.
Organic Painted Mountain Corn
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.
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.
I nixttamalize with lime not lye.
Nothing wrong with growing chicken feed. I'll probably do that too along with eating it myself.
dont get me wrong though, reading through this stuff gets me excited and makes me think buying seed may bea great idea
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.
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.