How to Grow, Harvest, Dry, and Cook Beautiful Glass Gem Corn

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  • Post last modified:November 18, 2023
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There's something very warm and comforting about beautifully colored corn as the weather begins to turn chilly and leaves begin to fall. Creative Commons

When the weather gets cooler and the leaves start to fall, there’s something warm and comfortable about lovely coloured maize.

There's something very warm and comforting about beautifully colored corn as the weather begins to turn chilly and leaves begin to fall.Creative Commons
There’s something very warm and comforting about beautifully colored corn as the weather begins to turn chilly and leaves begin to fall.
Creative Commons

 

Glass Gem corn is the next big thing that everyone is looking for! These stunning women almost look like they were edited in Photoshop! But they are real and easy to grow. You can also easily find and buy the seeds these days.

People often think of maize picking as the first sign of autumn. When dried “Indian maize” is for sale, you know summer is almost over and fall is coming. When the weather gets cooler and the leaves start to fall, there’s something warm and comfortable about lovely coloured maize. This smells like summer and winter at the same time, and it feels like autumn.

For easy decoration, glass gem corn can be dried and popped. It can also be cooked into hominy or ground into beautiful cornmeal. Besides that, the story behind Glass Gem corn is really cool.

The glass corn is so amazing that it almost looks like it was Photoshopped.

The amazing story of Glass Gem corn begins with two men who want to bring back and protect old Native American corn types.

Carl Barnes from Oklahoma wanted to learn more about his Native American roots, so he started collecting maize seeds that grew in that area a long time ago. After he picked the corn, he started to notice that some of its traits were similar to long-lost Native American corn types from the area. Barnes created many types of heritage maize by breeding for these features. He then gave these maize varieties back to the people who originally took care of them in their home area.

Barnes finally met Greg Schoen from New Mexico, who was also interested in the revival of corn. Schoen started breeding his own Native American corn with Barnes’ rainbow corn varieties. Schoen spread the first Glass Gem maize seeds around the world in 2008. No one in India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, or the US turned them down because they wanted to grow them.

In 2012, a picture of Glass Gem maize went viral, and the demand for Glass Gem maize seeds went through the roof. They are now grown all over the world, and most farmers can afford to buy them. (It costs about $3 USD for 50 seeds.) Wow, what a great comeback!

The heritage rainbow corns that Carl Barnes brought from Oklahoma were bred by Greg Schoen with heritage corns that grew in southern New Mexico. Glass Gem maize was made from the mix.

 

Greg Schoen began to breed Carl Barnes’ heritage rainbow corns (from Oklahoma) with heritage corns local to his area (New Mexico.) The combination produced Glass Gem corn.
© Kate P

 

How to Grow Glass Gem Corn

Greg Schoen, the botanist who came up with the Glass Gem maize types, says that they should be grown 30 inches apart in rows. Leave 6 to 12 inches between each row. He also says that you can group three to four seeds together in a hole and leave three to four feet between each group. When the dirt is at least 60 °F (15.5 °C) in the spring, you can plant. Make sure the area is out of the wind and in full sun. In about a week or two, maize will start to grow.

How to Grow Corn with Glass Gems

Corn grows better when it doesn’t get too wet. Giving them about an inch of water a week is all that’s suggested. The stalks and leaves of maize will start to dry out and turn brown when the growing season is over.

How to Get Glass Gem Corn

You can gather when the husks are dry and brown. To take the husks off the plant, twist them and pull them down at the same time. The husk will come off the plant after this.

When fully dried, the kernels will be “hard as flint.”
© Kate P

How to Keep Glass Gem Corn Cobs Dry and In Good Shape

Flint corn, like Glass Gem corn, will start to dry out on its own while it is still on the stalk. Once the corn is ripe, peel the husks off of the cobs. You can either remove the seeds or leave them on for looks.

Lift a big screen or a cooling or drying rack off the ground so air can flow under and around the corn cobs. On the drying rack, spread out the corn cobs and turn them over once a day to make sure they dry evenly.

When the week is up, gently press your nail into a Glass Gem maize seed. As soon as the kernels are dry, they will be “hard as flint.”

If you let Glass Gem maize dry out all the way, it can last for many years. Next year, it can be used to grow more Glass Gem corn. It can also be popped for popcorn, ground for cornmeal, cooked for hominy or just used for looks.

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