The much bespoken book of Carol Deppe has one chapter on corn. She describes her preferred varieties, I might want to try too. But I'm not sure if they grow in our climate too (what do I know about the climate of regions in the US and worse in F°). And my or your taste might be different too. But, to keep costs at bay I don't want to try too many varieties of corn. I think, I might not be able to grow and test more than two varieties of corn per year and safe the seeds (at least not without a lot of fuss). I'm talking about flour and flint corn here, not sweet corn. Where she lives it rains in winter and at our place the winter is dryer than the summer. We have a mountains climate and the last frost is expected first week of November (which would be equivalent to the first week in may). We have 120 growing days which are defined as days over 15°C (59F). Here's a http://www.albireo.ch/temperatureconverter/ . Our summers are cool (at least for Australia). What varieties do you grow? (and were did you buy them?)
I've only grown golden bantam in the past, which is a sweet. This year I'm trying black Navajo, which can be eaten fresh or dried. Growing two varieties at the same time for seed sounds pretty challenging! I got put off by talk of "inbreeding depression" in Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth. Eden seeds in Oz are supposed to be good.
I've grown 'Northstine Dent' for several years. Its a dent, not technically a flour corn or a flint (dents are in between flour and flint corns in terms of hardness and the ratio of the two kinds of starch). Its a great short season corn, productive, good ear size, short stalks to about 6 feet, generally 2 ears per stalk. Its an heirloom from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which has a cool continental climate and about a 90 to 100 day growing season. Very nice corn.
Unfortunately, I don't know if you could find seed for this in Australia. Johnny's Selected Seeds in Albion, Maine, USA was my original source, since then, I've just saved my own seed, and it comes pretty true.
Hope it helps you, but bear in mind that these zones merely reflect minimum temps in winter time, and corn is a summer crop, so these zones would not apply. They merely show what will survive a winter in your region. Still handy when so many plants are given temperature ranges in which they will survive in the US
Corn, to do well, requires quite a bit of warm, sunny weather throughout the growing season.
I've got Carol Deppe's corn growing for the first time right now. Plants are looking good - we will see how it matures. I'm in the Rogue valley to the south, instead of the Willamette valley where she lives, and we get a hotter, more intense Summer with less rain in the Winter.
With your 120 growing days above ~60F, I would think you would be fine. Corn likes warm soil, as well as air temps. Do you know when your soil temps hit 60F?
Her varieties are pretty well adapted to cool spring weather.
"Limitation is the mother of good management", Michael Evanari
Location: Southwestern Oregon (Jackson County), Zone 7
I have grown Painted Mountain here in N.Idaho a few times, and it has always performed well. Carol Depp bred her varieties out of painted mountain which she thought tasted 'muddy'. Guess I like mud . After reading her book, I separated the ears by color before shelling and grinding. I have tried a few taste tests between the different colors but the only conclusion we have reached so far is that fresh ground blue corn waffles kick ass. I also made a couple batches of her skillet corn bred with the red ears and it was very good and a meal in itself. I tried to get some of her seed early this spring but I guess it wasn't available yet. Maybe next year.
Thanks so far! Yes, we can import seeds in OZ but we must look up the plant in a database. There is much more variety in the USA than here! I think I will try some of these varieties. Only Philip talked about cooking, what does the rest of you do with the corn? I never planted something else than sweet corn (and my husband thinks it tastes awful sweet) and we use it without shelling. If you shell your corn, do you use a sheller or do you do it by hand?
That site is awesome! They only do not ship to OZ and anyway there are so many restrictions on importing seeds! NO maize no beans ... At the moment our climate is quite wet anyway. We have always some wet and some dry years, this makes things more complicated. You need varieties which can cope with both.
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
Have you looked at Stokes Seeds in Canada? Being as how both countries in the Commonwealth it might be a little easier to import from here. They mostly carry commercial (hybrid) seed but they also quite a bit of organic and nonhybrid seed. They carry Painted Mountain and several other unusual corn including broom corn.
It's a tiny ad. At least, that's what she said.
paul's patreon stuff got his videos and podcasts running again!