A bowl of corn grown by our friend Mike over in the North Fork. His small truck farming operation is where we get most of our produce during the summer, and this is one of his latest ventures to try evening out his income stream a little. He raises chickens for meat too, which are wonderful.
He grows about two acres of this native corn annually now, organically of course, a process he began about four years ago with a single short row of corn from barely a handful of seed given to him by friends in Northern New Mexico. Those seeds were descended from crops planted by the inhabitants of the region for hundreds of years.
This is the way it looks, startlingly beautiful, with no two cobs exactly alike. Ever.
This stuff needs no pesticides, having fully evolved to the region, and of course he holds back some as seed for next year’s crop. Farmers who grow these heirloom varieties have to be a long way from any industrial farming operations supplied by the likes of Monsanto, otherwise they will be sued into penury for “polluting” their sterile, and patented, hybrids via cross-pollination.
In fact if you were to say the word “monsanto” out loud at Mike’s place, he’d probably shoot you. You’d deserve it. (He’s getting about 20% higher yields per acre with this corn than the industrial boys are getting with the hybrids, and they have to buy new seed every year and treat the depleted soils with chemicals to make it work at all.)
He stacks the corn, on the cob like you see it here, dries it on racks in his barn over the winter, then strips the kernels off the cob in the late spring and grinds it into cornmeal which he sells in 1 lb bags. It’s beginning to get a reputation, and deservedly so.
It’s wonderful stuff, makes delicious corn bread, amazing tortillas, and is a tasty ingredient in sourdough bread too, that I can promise you.