What’s growing Grasshopper?
Well, let’s see…
Looks like corn! Lovely corn!
Yes, Grasshopper, it is lovely, and interesting too. With fun names like Floriani Flint, Glass Gem, Henry Moore, Open Oak, Rebellion, and Zdrowie, this corn is not what you normally see as you hop across the prairie through the Cornbelt. Floriani, for example, is great for grinding into cornmeal. Glass Gem is technically a popcorn. Gem gained a little celebrity a few years back because of its beauty. It’s perhaps too pretty to pop, and even too pretty for some to believe it’s real. Henry Moore is tall, dented, and a bit mysterious. That dent corn, along with Open Oak, are scheduled for some research to understand more of their history. Aptly named Rebellion rebels against pollination by other types of corn. Our experience with Zdrowie so far is that deer find it so delicious that they eat it almost faster than a person can learn to pronounce it (zuh-drove-yay).
Since you just jumped on the Jeep for your first field check, here are a few kernels from earlier visits to get you to speed on how this corn has grown so far.
We put the seed in the ground back in May, and about a week later, little baby Henry Moore and other plants emerged offering peace signs, assuring us “so far, so good”. Then the roots got big and strong, and the little plants grew fast — not just knee high, but waist high by the 4th of July.
Then in July and early August, they shot tassels from the tops of their stalks to reach for the sky. Pollen from the tassels sprinkled down onto the silks, and little kernels of corn started to grow under the husk at the end of the silks to form the ear.
And now things are really getting interesting. Floriani is getting red in the ears, and Gem’s white kernels are turning blue, and purple, and pink, and …!
There’s a lot more to happen before harvest, but I have to say it’s all pretty exciting!
Keep your antennas tuned, Grasshopper. We’ll keep you posted.
P.S. If you are interested in seeing more, here’s the PDF with all the “kernels” (field check notes and pictures) that diary the corn’s progress so far this summer.