This post would probably be better placed at the end of the growing season, after the corn has been harvested and allowed to dry, to give a bit of a how-to. But I'm taking another approach. Posting this now to tempt you to grow your own, if you're not already doing so. This will be my first year sowing these seeds, and I need partners!
Last fall, we procured some of this beautiful, rather petite, richly colored strawberry popping corn from our local CSA.
I knew this type of corn was smaller than the "usual" ears you see, but I admit it was even smaller than I expected.
I've read you can grow corn in containers. And especially this type since the stalks are shorter. This growing season, I'm going to give it a try. I have a food grade container that is at least twelve inches in diameter and almost two feet deep. Hopefully, a few stalks will comfortably fit.
I also read fish emulsion is a good addition to the soil when growing corn. I don't have emulsion (and really don't have a desire to make it), but I do have fish oil. I wonder if that would work? I also think wind is really helpful in the pollination. No worries there. We've got that covered in our little valley between the (bigger, taller, higher) mountains on either side of us.
I didn't really have room to start corn indoors this year. I've already got eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce growing inside. But it's almost time to begin outdoors. Another couple of weeks is all I should have to wait. I'll utilize the greenhouse, then, too. Since it will be about three months before harvest, I hope to get it right the first time!
Once I do (hopefully!) harvest the cute little red popping corn, as you can see by these photos, getting the kernels off is pretty easy. You might want to wear gloves, though. I didn't my first time, and my thumb paid for it. Nothing too bad. They really do pop right off. But I'll probably try gloves next time.
I saved kernels from the strawberry popping corn I got from the local CSA. If it grows for them, maybe it will grow for me!
Three little ears gave me almost a half-pint mason jar full. Isn't it pretty? It pops up nicely, too. And it's my understansding it will last in the jar at least until you are ready to harvest again the next season.
So? Did I tempt you? Are you going to join me in growing some popcorn this season?
As I type this, I'm watching a bright yellow monarch butterfly flit about on a hot pink azalea bush. Yep, I do believe Spring is here! --
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From my mountaintop to yours,