Sweet Corn, Double Red (Organic)
Zea mays. Sweet. 85 days.
A superb addition to the list of cool, purple vegetables. Normal sugary (SU) kernels are sweet and richly flavored, but the real coup of Double Red is the ridiculously dark red color. The kernels are so red that they can turn your fingers purple when eating it. Certainly a culinary necessity for those of us trying to “eat the rainbow.” Red hue varies a little from ear to ear with many so dark red they seem almost black-purple. This rare color in sweet corn comes from the anthocyanin pigments that are also seen in the plant’s leaves. A natural source of anti-oxidants, anthocyanins are also anti-inflammatory. Plants are 5-7′ tall with 1-2 ears per stalk. We have heard that when dried and ground, it makes a delicious purple corn bread, but we eat them all fresh and haven’t tried this yet. Using traditional plant breeding methods, Double Red was bred by Dr. Alan Kapuler of Peace Seeds in Corvallis, Oregon. It is the culmination of 25 years of breeding work by Peace Seeds and 8 years of collaboration with Dylana Kapuler and Mario DiBenedetto of Peace Seedlings.
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.