November may seem like an odd time of year to write a post about corn, but now that the fall rains have begun in ernest, and the garden is ALMOST put to rest, there is a bit more time to prepare meals that utilize some of the stores of dry corn that have been accumulating in the pantry! And THAT got me reminiscing about my love affair with corn.
Being an Ohio girl, you'd think I'd always have chosen corn as a crop to grow in my garden. But despite being 'corn fed' for 17 years, somehow I felt intimidated by the thought of growing it myself.
My first experience growing sweet corn was decades later on a small diverse organic farm here in NW Washington state. I was enchanted by the unfurling spirals that emerged from the soil, but still avoided planting any in my own garden. I went on to work on two more farms which also grew corn, and continued to be intrigued by the magic of those tiny kernels as I sowed, watered, transplanted, hoed and hoed the rows. Just down the road though, my OWN rows still lacked any of those magical stalks; I felt that it was beyond the scope of my home garden.
But then. I began working for my friends at Uprising Seeds, met Painted Mountain Flour corn, and became helplessly, hopelessly wooed, charmed, besotted, mesmerized and smitten to distraction.
Consumed beyond my waking hours, my new obsession found its way into my dreams, and not surprisingly integrated itself into my card designs.
See listings in my Etsy shop!
Through the dark and rainy days of late winter, and on into early spring, each time I packed THOSE seeds, and feasted my eyes on their stunningly rich and endlessly diverse colors, the dream of growing them myself started to germinate!
I asked questions, and as I started to learn more, I decided that the possibility existed that corn COULD indeed be included in our own garden, and it HAD to be Painted Mountain. I would be a corn virgin no more!
Once I successfully grew and dried corn, and graced our table with bowls of posole, handmade tortillas and plates of cornbread made from it, the deal was sealed.
I have yet to shuck and grind the Floriani, but I can almost smell the polenta cooking and taste the sweet rewards of the season.
As we settle into the shortening days, and the garden is at rest, I'm already anticipating the possibilities of new corn to grow next season. I'm considering these two beauties, Dakota Black Popping corn, and Mandan Red Clay flour or parching corn. (Both available from Uprising Seeds)
Luckily there's plenty of time for catching up on inside chores, reading, and cooking up lots of warming meals from the abundant harvest to enjoy with friends and family before I have to decide!