Monday, 1 November 2010


It's that time of year again, closing down for the dark months, saying goodbye to the sun. All rather sad and full of nostalgia for the season past.

This maize, a dent corn which is supposed to be dried and ground for making tamales, is the variety Oaxacan Green. I was expecting it to be completely blue/green seeded like the lower cob but as you can see some are rather more colourful than that. I wondered if the seed has become contaminated over time, it's extremely difficult to keep maize varieties pure because they are wind pollinated and need a long distance between varieties to avoid cross pollination but looking at the Kokopelli site it seems it grows this way for them too. So, a mystery that's not likely to be solved, unless you know better and can help. It didn't cross here, as this was the only variety to survive the deer and grow large enough to flower.

This growing session has not been a good one and I'm not sure yet if I will have anything to put on a seed swap at all this year. The oca was chewed down by deer last week, the beans all failed except for a few Ice Crystal Wax, and I'd decided not to save seed from pumpkins this year so didn't make any attempts to isolate varieties. I need to have a good clear out and reassessment of where things are going before making my plans for next year.


Pia said...

I never saw such a coloured maize, it´s beautiful.
Nice pictures from your cats and also from the butterflys.

Rhizowen said...

Very pretty.

You probably need to grow a pretty big corn patch to retain the diversity in your maize varieties - how many plants did you grow?

Sorry to hear about your oca.

Catofstripes said...

Thanks Pia.

Rhizowen, I know, the oca, I'm gutted. I'm hoping there might be enough left to produce a small crop and I have a back up patch that is better protected but it's still very sad.

As for the corn, this was just a small trial with seed bought from Kokopelli. Less than a dozen plants, I had no plans to save seed I just wanted to see what came up. The interesting mixture is the result.