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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Corn Planting

Today we planted our field corn. The variety we grow is called Wapesie Valley and is an old open pollenated heirloom dent corn from the 1800's. We have been growing it for 4 years and I have been selecting it to ripen good in our area. It need 1000 growing days to mature well so this gets close to our fall rainy wether. Last year was very wet it rained almost every week! this was good for the corn while it was growing but not during the harvest. Many of the farmers had trouble with there GMO (it should not be called corn) molding or not even ripening. But ours did good and did not mold. Another three cheers for OP corn! and heaps upon heaps of curses on all the GMOs. May a disease attack it's mixed up genes that it fall to the ground wither and die and be remembered no more. One thing I look for when saving the corn seed is the first and biggest ears to tern down in the early fall but since this is a very genetically diverse corn I don't limit it to just this traits, and so when we're husking it I keep out any uniquely colored ears or kernels to keep it this way. Last year I found several ears with sweet corn characteristics (sweet, wrinkled, and clearish ) I know it did not cross with the sweet corn because the ears were found in the middle of the corn field and there was not any sweet corn near by. I'm going to grow it out and see what becomes of it. One thing unique about this corn variety is it colors, its ears ranges from mostly yellow, to orange, red, and dark maroon. So the sweet corn will be these colors too. It will be interesting to see if it works out and maybe I'll be the first to have developed an open pollenated sweet corn with these colors!


Hannah said...

This was so enjoyable to do with you David!
Thanks for letting us all pitch in and help- I hope we can always do it like that!
Love you!

Jonathan said...

Do you mean 100 days? 1000 days is nearly 3 years. :-)

That would be neat if you could develop a multi-color sweetcorn.

Jonathan Potter

David said...

Yes hannha this was fun! Though after I marked 5000+ hills my back and arms were achy. And I was glad for all the help planting. It was nice to see the last seed of the 20000 planted and covered up. I cant wait to see how the field will look when all these seeds grow into 12 foot high plants!
Thanks for the help :)

David said...

Jonathan I did mean 1000. I am talking about growing degree days not days to maturity which is helpful to know too so you can know when to plant so you can keep different verities of corn true to type. All corn(Dent,Flint, flour, pop, and sweet) can cross with each other. If you have limited field space you could still plant for instance sweet and pop corn right by each other and they would not cross pollenate. IF the sweet corn was for instance a 72 day and the pop corn was 100 days. Growing degree days are degree units above 50 degrees. To calculate GDDs take the maximum temperature + the minimum temperature of a 24 hour day and divide by 2 then minus 50 and this is GDDs. So for example 88 +56 = 144 divide by 2 =72 - 50 =22 GDDs. Hope this makes sense.

Jonathan said...

Cool! I never knew that before. Thanks for the explanation. :-)

Jonathan Potter

Miss Grace Elizabeth said...

That was so enjoyable to do. Even though I did look like a lobster at the end. :)