Sunday, September 27, 2020

The "Glass Gem" corn on the cob

 The "Glass Gem" corn on the cob, though not to be eaten, makes a lovely centerpiece ...

... and here's the story of how it was created. 

It begins with a half-Cherokee Oklahoma farmer named Carl Barnes who began growing older corn varieties in the 1970s as a way to reconnect with his heritage.  In growing these older corn varieties Barnes was able to isolate types that had been lost to the Native American tribes when they were relocated in the 1800's to what is now Oklahoma.

This led to an exchange of ancient corn seed with people he had met and made friends with all over the country. Barnes began selecting, saving and replanting seeds from particularly colorful cobs.  Over time this resulted in rainbow-colored corn.

A fellow farmer, Greg Schoen, met Barnes in 1994 at a native-plant gathering in Oklahoma.  Barnes had his rainbow-colored corn on display and Schoen was blown away. Barnes gave Schoen some of the rainbow seeds and they became and remained close friends for many years. 

Carl Barnes passed away in 2016 but Schoen has continued to sow the colorful seeds and is still "blown away" each year when he sees what he has produced.

You can purchase seeds from him, but the supplies are limited and inexpensive. I definitely felt that Greg Schoen is much more interested in the conservation of the seeds than in selling them.  He sees that his work is to conserve and protect Glass Gem corn along with the nearly 2,000 rare, arid lands-adapted crop varieties.  "As Carl Barnes has taught us", he says, "all it takes is one person to create a more colorful, diverse and abundant world ... one seed at a time."


Blogger Marie Smith said...

It is beautiful indeed, a wonder of nature. People working together can create some beautiful things and save cultural heritage.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Those two leave quie a colourful heritage.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

That is quite a story. It is just lovely and too pretty to eat anyway.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Joared said...

That is truly unusual corn — lovely — never had heard of it before.

12:59 AM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

From my friend Jan ...

Absolutely beautiful!
Makes me want to get some seed and try to grow some here.
Thanks, Ginnie!

7:12 AM  
Blogger sherri said...

Great post! I was wondering why you can't eat it .. found this -->

That would make an amazing bowl of popcorn!!
Thanks Ginnie

8:13 AM  
Blogger Joared said...

I went out to Schoen's site, ordered some seeds, link to the site sent to my son/grandson for their garden next year since it's too late to plant this season.

1:05 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home