Popcorn, Dakota Black (Organic)
Zea mays. Popcorn. 90 days.
One of the earliest maturing and easiest to grow popcorns. 6-8” ears on 6′ tall plants. Dark black kernels have a ruby-red, glassy shine when held in the right angle of light. The pointy kernels pop bright white with a small black hull still attached. The flavor is delicious, hearty and crunchy. Many popcorns lack this richness, which gives Dakota Black the ability to act as a meal all by itself. Developed by the Podolls of Prairie Road Organic Farm, seed growers in North Dakota. Aka, Dakota Black Pop.
Seed produced by Myrtle Creek Farm in Myrtle Creek, Oregon.
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.
Jessica Engelman (verified owner) –
Where did you grow this variety? Washington
I grew six Dakota Black plants in summer of 2022 in Aberdeen, WA. I direct-seeded them in 10 gallon grow bags (they just barely fit; larger containers are recommended). Despite a difficult year for corn in Western WA due to the wet, cool spring (although growing in bags helped offset this substantially!), I was able to harvest about one fully- or mostly-formed ear per stalk in the autumn. Hand pollination seemed to be successful, although the silks and tassels appeared at different times on the same plants, so I usually had to pollinate silks using a different plant’s tassel. Suckers did form on most of the stalks, but did not have enough time to produce additional ears. Timing the harvest was a little tricky, balancing the desire for the ears to ripen properly vs leaving them on the stalks for too long in the increasingly-damp weather of fall. This was my first year growing corn, so much of that was due to my own inexperience, and on another year I might find the harvest to be 5-star worthy. Even still, beautiful black popcorn kernels were successfully harvested in the maritime climate of Aberdeen from corn grown in 10 gallon bags, and I consider that a win. The taste was richer and nuttier than commercial popcorn, so despite the work it still felt worthwhile. Bonus: we frequently found small frogs chilling in the gap between the stalk and leaves.
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