- Apr 18, 2014
- Reaction score
- Lower Hudson Valley, New York
Well, I'm trying to work out a way to put in two small corn patches per year by using the house itself as a pollen block (i.e. put one on one side of the house, and one on the other). But that sort of relies on FINDING another spot on the other side of the house that has the space and sun to grow corn, or pretty much anything else! (as I have mentioned, about 90% of our property is in partial to total shade pretty much all day, and there is nothing I can do about that).I admire your adventurous spirit when it comes to planting gleanings you've found @Pulsegleaner. It is certainly a good way to find things that you won't find in seed vendor listings. I almost never see any really nice decorative corn being sold around here, but I did look at some little fall decal corns I got somewhere at some point yesterday and think....hmmm, wonder if I could grow this. The tricky thing is corn is so sensitive to seasonal length that I doubt if many would succeed here being so far up north. And that would mean, possibly, one year is a total loss for a corn. Which is a huge loss considering you can only grow one per year.
THAT there are corns adapted to your area is obvious, after all, the First Nations people had their corns. How many of those are still around I have no idea. I know there is something called Gaspe Bay Flint, and I think the Micmac still have some of their traditional strains (to be honest, I'm not 100% familiar with which native tribes ARE in the interior part of Canada. I know some of the coastal ones (Haida, Tlingit, Athabascan) but beyond that, it all goes into a blur of memories of old Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour episodes I've heard on tape.) Maybe one of those would work.
As for your problem, I sort of understand. I have the advantage that none of my near neighbors grow corn (only one other even has a vegetable garden, as far as I know) and the nearest one who does is down a very steep hill (so their pollen would have to blow up the hill and over the house to get to my patch, which isn't likely.) Thankfully, the restoration doesn't grow corn either, just a bit of wheat and rye for the show of things (I'm sure they grind it in the mill, but I've seen, and harvested, their patch, and it's clear than most of the grain they grind must come in from elsewhere)
As for 6-12 plants messing you up, how do you think I feel when 6-12 kernels is ALL I HAVE for a variety (or even less), and I have to face the possibility of giving a whole season to grown only two or three corn stalks! I'm seriously considering planting the one I only have four of left in just a big pot and putting it somewhere high enough to keep it out of the pollen wind line.
I actually DID do a re-visit to my main corn hunt place (not where I bought my stuff, it's going to be hard to re-visit that one.) The one I went to HAD gotten in some more since last time (some multicolored dents) but still nothing to catch my eye.
I also think I may have worked out a way to get around the fact that our recent spring weather patterns have made trying to grow cool weather crops like peas all but impossible. It occurs to me that, as I only have about five of the peas I want to regenerate, I can again take a bit pot, fill it with soil, stick a bunch of stakes in it, tie or staple some mesh to them, and create a pea complex I can bring outside when the weather is good for peas, but still yank inside if I find out that an unexpected heavy frost is coming. Probably should do something similar for the fava (since I only have one seed of that).