Flint Corn, Cascade Ruby-Gold (Organic)
Zea mays. Flint. 85 days.
This has become the corn of legends. Perfect for our taste buds and Pacific Northwest climate, it is difficult to describe without sounding overzealous. Not only does this variety produce the tastiest polenta and cornmeal we have ever tried, but it was bred just across the valley from us by our friend Carol Deppe in Corvallis, Oregon. An 8-12 row flint corn related to Abenaki and Byron flint. It brings the best traits from both combining the general awesomeness of Abenaki minus the pale yellow ears, and from Byron, the wonderful gold-orange color and excellent husk coverage. Ears are smaller than Abenaki. Throw in some more genius selection by Carol and you get a flint corn that makes bright gold polenta with pretty red flecks that quickly becomes a hot seller at market. Each plant will produce one of many options of single color ears ranging from bright-yellow, maple-gold, red-orange to deepest red. Separate out the colors for cooking and get a range of delicious and distinct flavors from one crop.
Find out more in Carol’s book The Resilient Gardner.
Corn does best when direct sown 1” deep, spaced at 12” centers, but can be planted as close as 8″ apart if given enough fertility. If sowing early in cold soil we recommend soaking seed overnight in water before sowing. Sow once danger of frost has passed. For optimal pollination do not plant a single row, instead plant 3-4 rows in blocks of at least 100 plants. Use row cover to protect emerging seedlings from birds and insects.
Harvest cobs for grain or seed when stalks are brown and ears are dry. Fold husk back and leave indoors to finish drying completely. Remove kernels by rubbing two cobs together, or by hand. Test for dryness with a hammer; dry kernels shatter. Isolate from other corn by distance –1 mile – or time, two weeks – between sowings.