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[From Homepage] Jewels from the Garden: The Story Behind Carl's Glass Gems

[From Homepage] Jewels from the Garden: The Story Behind Carl's Glass Gems
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  • [From Homepage] Jewels from the Garden: The Story Behind Carl's Glass Gems

    Post #1 - November 11th, 2013, 8:05 am
    Post #1 - November 11th, 2013, 8:05 am Post #1 - November 11th, 2013, 8:05 am
    This is an excerpt of an article from the homepage. Read Full Article
    __________________________

    By Katje Sabin (mamagotcha)
    [caption id="attachment_1618" align="alignnone" width="602"]Image The picture that started it all.[/caption]

    In May of 2012, the above photo of an ear of corn featuring astonishingly psychedelic colors made the rounds on the Internet. "NOT PHOTOSHOPPED!" blared the blogs. Being a rainbow aficionado myself, I briefly toyed with the idea of tracking down the seeds of this marvelous grain so I could grow it, but I didn't yet have a dedicated garden space. Besides, it wasn't yet commercially available.

    [caption id="attachment_1617" align="alignleft" width="300"]Image These arrived in a plain, unmarked envelope.[/caption]

    Later that year, I dug out three little 4'x4' garden boxes in my backyard, with permission from my landlord, and started dreaming about what to grow in it. The tiny amount of the fabulous corn seed available for the year was already sold out from the only company legitimately selling it, but I decided to take my chances with an eBay seller. Finally I had my hands on a tiny Ziploc baggie filled with a few dozen nondescript nuggets of what looked like run-of-the-mill Indian corn.

    The whole episode had a slightly...ahem...seedy feel to it. I really had no idea where this corn had come from. The seller was new, and I wondered whether I'd let myself be ripped off, but there were no more seeds to be found and I decided to take the gamble. I planted them in May of 2013 and crossed my fingers.
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken
  • Post #2 - November 11th, 2013, 10:44 am
    Post #2 - November 11th, 2013, 10:44 am Post #2 - November 11th, 2013, 10:44 am
    That must be a particularly robust pollen-producer. Most domesticated corn won't produce seed heads unless you have a large area with multiple adjacent rows. Great results!
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #3 - November 11th, 2013, 11:14 am
    Post #3 - November 11th, 2013, 11:14 am Post #3 - November 11th, 2013, 11:14 am
    Katje, I absolutely love this contribution: it's about food, culture and the writer's personal history -- everything that makes food writing sing.

    I was just cleaning out my garden yesterday, and I was wondering if I'd even bother to grow anything next year, but your piece inspired me. I'm thinking of planting the Three Sisters, and I'm hoping one of that indigenous triumvirate will Glass Gems.

    Thanks.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #4 - November 11th, 2013, 12:12 pm
    Post #4 - November 11th, 2013, 12:12 pm Post #4 - November 11th, 2013, 12:12 pm
    David, that is indeed high praise coming from one of my food-writing heroes! Thank you so much for your kind words. I had considered growing the Three Sisters (and did put in a few squash seeds) but decided that my tiny patch was already pushing it for the limits of the space (as JoelF wisely points out above), and chose not to crowd it any further.

    I will bring baggies of Glass Gems to the holiday party. If anyone wants to grab some then, please feel free to ask! (I'll be the fat lady with the purple/blue hair... should be easy to find.)

    JoelF, my husband Chouxfly will loudly attest to the robust nature of this particular strain's pollen, poor thing.
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken
  • Post #5 - November 11th, 2013, 12:41 pm
    Post #5 - November 11th, 2013, 12:41 pm Post #5 - November 11th, 2013, 12:41 pm
    Those are amazing - and I LOVE the story behind the corn! I'd love to give growing Carl's Glass Gems a try if you still have any seed kernels left! I'm going to add garden beds next summer - since we had to cut down a dead tree in the back yard I'll have more sun available! ~ Angie
  • Post #6 - November 11th, 2013, 12:52 pm
    Post #6 - November 11th, 2013, 12:52 pm Post #6 - November 11th, 2013, 12:52 pm
    mamagotcha wrote:I had considered growing the Three Sisters (and did put in a few squash seeds) but decided that my tiny patch was already pushing it for the limits of the space (as JoelF wisely points out above), and chose not to crowd it any further.


    And the squash itself can be a spacebuster on its own: My delicatas last year took over half my back yard, outside of the garden plot. This year, I confined them to the back of the garden plot, and only got four squash total, because of limited space and shade from the tomatillos.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #7 - November 11th, 2013, 1:13 pm
    Post #7 - November 11th, 2013, 1:13 pm Post #7 - November 11th, 2013, 1:13 pm
    I'm seriously thinking of doing an "Indian garden" (that's how I've seen it referred to), which mingles squashbeancorn, without rows and, in the case of my garden, without excessive "tending."
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #8 - January 6th, 2014, 12:13 am
    Post #8 - January 6th, 2014, 12:13 am Post #8 - January 6th, 2014, 12:13 am
    Wow,this really make me want to try growing this. Thank you very much for sharing your story,mamagotcha! :D
    It’s more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use
    long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like
    “What about lunch?”
    —Winnie The Pooh
    "... a good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
    Virginia Woolf : A Room of One's Own
  • Post #9 - December 12th, 2014, 11:08 am
    Post #9 - December 12th, 2014, 11:08 am Post #9 - December 12th, 2014, 11:08 am
    Those corn ears remind me of the color cones in my eyes, and suggest that maybe there are some colors I didn't even knwo existed yet. I love that you grew this corn!
  • Post #10 - April 12th, 2015, 10:56 pm
    Post #10 - April 12th, 2015, 10:56 pm Post #10 - April 12th, 2015, 10:56 pm
    I still have some Glass Gem corn from my 2013 crop that I'm willing to send to LTH gardeners who would like to try growing it this year. If you'd like some, let me know how many seeds you want and your mailing address, and I'll get them out as fast as I can so you can get them into the ground soon. (It's OK if I've given you some before and you want more because you lost it or had crop failure... there should be enough for everyone!)

    I sent some to Freezer Pig, and am hoping that Glass Gem corn will make a cameo once in a while in his excellent farm stories!
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken

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