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Seed saving for CORN - mold issues  RSS feed

 
Sam Boisseau
Posts: 155
Location: PNW, British Columbia
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I grew some flint corn this year (Cascade Ruby Gold) and for different reasons it didnt do that great and I had to harvest it before it was fully dry.


I shucked it and left the kernels on the cob and set it out to dry, but now Im having a white mold problem on some of the cobs.

I've been wiping it off with a cloth and white vinegar and setting the cobs to dry by the furnace. Am I doing this right? Can I expect to be able to plant/eat kernels that have had mold issues. I guess not all cobs are affected.


Thanks!
 
alex Keenan
Posts: 487
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You might want to get some silica to really dry seeds

http://www.southernexposure.com/supplies-c-216.html
 
Troy Rhodes
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I would shuck it (if you haven't done that already) and shell it. The cob can slow the drying process if it was picked wet.

Mold depends on being cool (or at least not hot) and moist.

Warm, dry and air movement will stop it. A fan helps a lot if your humidity levels are not excessive. What kinds of temps and humidity are we talking about?

A hygrometer is worth it's weight in gold when you're trying to dry stuff.

I have a simple dehydrator. It's about 16" x 20" x 4 feet tall. It takes home made wooden frames with nylon window screen stapled to it.

I put a 6" computer (muffin) fan in the bottom, surrounded by 4 regular ceramic (cheap) light sockets. If I want to dry stuff in a hurry, and it's not for seed, I screw in all 4 100 watt bulbs. If it's for seed, I just screw in 2 60 watt bulbs. Works like gangbusters. I had some big sunflower heads that were trying to go moldy because of the excessive rain. Shucked them, dried them, boom, mold problems are gone.


hth,

troy
 
Bill Bradbury
pollinator
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Location: Richmond, Utah
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Traditionally this corn was put up by opening the husk, removing the silk and hanging the ear on a string by the opened husk. The string is suspended just below your ceiling in a warm room. Once dry, the kernels can be removed by rubbing the ears together.
 
Sam Boisseau
Posts: 155
Location: PNW, British Columbia
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Thanks all.

I had read that the kernels should be kept on the cob for a bit if not picked fully dry.

From my readings (Martin Prechtel), it seems like indigenous people would store the seeds on the cobs as well.

I guess hanging would have been a good idea. I'll do that next time.


For now I'll probably start shelling the cobs that look like they might still get mold on them.



This variety is supposed to mature fast, so I was a bit surprised that it wasn't dry by the end of September, even though we got a very sunny summer. But then it was a bit of a late planting (mid June) on rather poor soil. So I'm hoping it will do better next year.

 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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