Rare Corn Varieties

As hinted at in the last post, I have been growing and preserving extremely rare corn varieties in the past few years. I am currently a steward of multiple hyper-rare varieties of which I most recently grew out four : Gigi Hill, Seneca Hominy, Mohawk Round Nose, and New York Red Robin. I have begun a chin-marked selection of Painted Mountain and a mottled/’cow speckled’ selection from a mixed gene pool.

Here are some notes on the four.

Gigi Hill – Flint. Tuscarora Reservation near Buffalo, NY. Mostly blue or dark blue, with some purple, pink, and clear kernels mixed in. Cobs white, husks green. Plant height approximately 5-6′, no lodging noted, most plants with 2 cobs but some producing unusual clusters of up to 6 cob-lets. 8 rows, irregular lengths – my best cob was probably 8″ or so but the typical was more like 5″. Some cobs seem to display some underdeveloped glumes, especially at the bases of the cobs, and these dry out to be pretty sharp and can be a bit rough on the hands for those hand-shelling! Recommend a sheller for this one. Matures a few days after Seneca Hominy.

Seneca Hominy/Ha-Go-Wa – Flint. Steamburg, NY. Mostly white, with some blue, pink, and purple kernels mixed in. Some cobs are about 50/50 white/blue. Cob base white, husks green. Plant height approximately 5-6′, minimal lodging. Most plants have two cobs, or one larger cob. 8 rows, usual length about 4-6″. Dries easily, shells easily, comes freely from the cob when hand-shelled. The quickest to maturity of the four; matured a few days faster than Painted Mountain flint.

Mohawk Round Nose – Flour. Rooseveltown, NY. Overall white, a few with a pink cast. Most cobs white, a few red. Very thick cobs, the thickest I’ve seen, and large kernels just a little too stumpy to match Hickory King in size. Plant height approximately 5′ in poor soil, no lodging. Most plants with one well developed cob, usual length 5-6″. No glumes on mine, but not easy to hand shell as the large kernels seem to catch one another – best with a sheller. Third in maturity of these four, after Gigi Hill.

New York Red Robin – Dent. Unlike the above three, not an Iroquois variety of corn, but was collected in Cassadaga NY nonetheless and is an old variety. Very stocky cobs and robust plants, no lodging noted. Plant height approximately 7′, cobs about 8″ long but very fat, 10-14 rows. Kernels varying shades of light to dark red with a creamy cap, cobs mostly red. The deepest red ones are absolutely stunning. This is the highest yielding among the four. I shelled mine before it really should’ve been, so no comments on the ease. The last to maturity of these four, a few days behind Round Nose.

I am willing to distribute or trade some of the seeds I have produced from the four described above; I already have distributed or promised some of them. Quantities are limited. For educational purposes, colleges, etc. there would be no cost for samples in most cases, depending on the project. Please do not be offended if I ask you questions or “vet” you before offering/selling you seed – it is nothing personal! It is simply very important to me that these varieties end up in semi-responsible and informed hands, so that hopefully such hands are helping me ensure that said varieties do not go extinct.

If trading, I am mostly interested in other rare varieties of corn. Right now I am particularly looking for unusually spotted corns like Big Horse Spotted and Winnebago Spotted, though I am happy to consider any rare variety I don’t already have. I will make an even exchange for other rare corns or beans, especially ones from NY or PA. At this point I am NOT interested in obtaining anymore ‘common’ varieties ex. Bloody Butcher or the like.

The current plan for plantings next season include the varieties Katie Wheeler, Six Nations Blue, Tuscarora White (Meadowview strain), Navajo Robin’s Egg, and Warners. Seed will be available of these in late 2016 and into 2017.

Posting this up so the whole of the internet can see it. If you are interested – please contact me via the Contact Form or the farm Facebook page. Thanks.

Sorry, but I am only willing to ship seeds to the lower 48 US States (basic flat-rate $7.15, your rate may be higher or lower depending on quantity and whether or not you’re close enough to qualify for Regional Rates instead)… No shipping to countries outside the US, or to AK/HI, things get too tricky and expensive this way and I don’t want to deal with that or wind up with people disappointed and seeds lost because an order got seized by customs or something.