Skip to main content

Smoke Signals Popcorn

For the past few years we have been growing organic sweet corn. We decided over the winter that it may be time to try out popcorn. The decision was based on the fact that there is sweet corn for sale on every corner in this area and we eat a ton of popcorn during the course of a year so we thought it just made sense.

Popcorn is an interesting food. In tombs in Peru there were kernels so well preserved that they could still be popped. A 1,700-year-old painted funeral urn in Mexico had a corn god on it wearing a headdress of popcorn. One can see why it would be such an important food source for early civilizations since it grows so easily and stores so well. It was also one of the few crops that American farmers were able to succesfully grow and sell during the Great Depression.

We grew a beautiful decorative variety called Smoke Signals. As usual we bought our seed from the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. We are getting ready to try out some kernels tonight, fingers crossed I am a little weary about how much moisture is needed or not needed and how one can tell if it is ready or not. Basically I am doing it all by a feeling deep in my gut, which simply may be hunger pains for popcorn.

Like all varieties of corn popcorn is a huge nitrogen feeder so you will want to keep this in mind if you decide to grow it. You will want to allow the corn for the most part to dry on the stalk and then bring it in for a few days to make sure it is free of mold. Afterwards make sure you store it in a cool dry place. I had thought a paper bag would work but upon further reading it seems you run the risk of drying the kernels out too much and then they won't pop so you want to put them in an air tight container, such as a glass jar. Good luck and enjoy!

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here


Popular posts from this blog

Swedish Flower Hen

The rare Swedish Flower Hen has a unique story. Called Skånsk blommehöna(Bloom Hen) in their native country of Sweden this landrace breed was thought to be extinct in the 1970's. (The term landrace refers to the fact that S.F.H.'s were free to develop for nearly five hundreds years without interference from man, so to speak). But in the late 1980's the Swedish Poultry Country Club located isolated flocks in the villages of Esarp, Tofta and Vomb. The gene bank that was eventually created by the S.P.C.C. was successful and there are approximately 1,300 Swedish Flower Hens currently in Sweden.

While enthusiast of rare breeds continue to work hard to increase the numbers it is painfully obvious why they slowly fell out of favor nearly 100 years ago. Though rare and visually stunning they cannot equal the number of eggs some of the top laying hens produce in a peak yearly cycle. Swedish Flower Hens average around 150 eggs over the course of 12 months. Compare that with the nea…

In Winter

I enjoy winter when it arrives at the homestead. Though the gardens are long since dormant there is still plenty to do.The rabbits and the chickens need constant care. A couple of times a day I have to break ice from the animals water and make sure they have enough warm bedding.

I don't mind though. No matter how cold it gets. There is poetry in the garden during summer. Birds sing with triumphant melody. Soft summer rains baptize new growth. But the winter features a more solitary form of art. For the most part there is a resonating silence that is a canvas for the occasional temperamental gust of wind and snow. These same squalls force the breathe from my lungs and scatter the frozen mist before my eyes. Then, once again, there is silence. As any good steward I try not to disturb this peace. If anything, I try to move unnoticed among it.

When it is cold enough the trees will produce an individual moan as they threaten to splinter in the darkness of the woods. They all have their…

The Land of Plenty

The idea that I am about to present to you is certainly nothing new. Wonderful organizations such as Ample HarvestPlant a Row for the Hungry and countless food banks and pantries across the country have been confronting the issue of hunger in our communities head on for some time.

Food insecurity is a cornerstone of the human condition. A little research will lead you to discover a long history of charity in opposition. For example, the seventh century Irish Benedictine monk St. Fiacre who was a master herbalist eventually settled in France and practiced a reverse tithe by keeping 10% of his harvest while giving away 90% to those less fortunate.

Life is complicated, as we all know. There are no easy answers to any of the problems that plague our society but there are some very simple issues that could be addressed that could in turn have a ripple effect on a number of other dilemmas such as poverty, health and even violence.

According to the USDA 40% of the $161 billion dollars’ (yo…