Sometimes, when something is hyped, and you buy into the idea, when he reality of its failure sets in, you can either pretend it ain’t so and quietly go along with the lie, or you can expose it thus revealing yourself to have been a dupe.
Well, here you go. This is the last “Indian corn” I am going to mess around with.
I’ve messed around growing Roy’s Calais, supposedly preserved by some tribe. I’ve tried Hopi Blue. Both were nothing compared to modern field corn; so different that one could hardly believe they are the same species. And I’ve grown Painted Mountain, which really takes the cake as the worst corn I’ve ever grown.
This is just pathetic. Given the best bit of soil in the garden. Carefully planted. I will say it did get off to an early and fast start, but then it just stops. It doesn’t grow tall-or strong, which is what a short corn is supposed to do. Lodges over in a storm that didn’t topple any corn, sunflowers, or amaranth around it, including sweet corn (normally the wimpiest of corn plants).
It still made a few little pathetic ears, some of which I sampled when still sweet, and it did taste good, but then the Blackbirds came and took nearly the whole crop. Apparently this corn has wimpy husks, and these Blackbirds, which I’ve never known to be corn eaters, easily peel them back. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of acres of corn all around me, and even some sweet corn growing right next to the Painted Mountain, and not one of them has been touched by Blackbirds. And look at the comparison to Country Gentleman sweetcorn, which is not at all noted for its vigor. The ear and the husk is what makes corn such a wonderful plant. It is the easiest of all staple plants to harvest, store, and is the most resistant to arial assault, or should be.
Maybe the Indians stood in their fields all day to scare away the birds. Pretty poor use of time if you ask me. And I don’t have time for the Seed Catalog Hype anymore. Good thing this wasn’t “survival food.” Some preppers may be in for a surprise.
I have a principle that I think should govern all alternative farming: try everything once, and don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work out. There is reason why there is conventional farming and alternative farming. Conventional farming is a gradual refinement of the most economical (at least by the “rules of the game”) and dependable practices and crops. Alternative farming (and everything I do is alternative) is by its nature not dependable. You are going to have mega fails like Painted Mountain corn. This is why one should always TRY FIRST then go big if it works. It is also why there should be some amount of diversity, too. If one thing fails, you have a backup (and a reference in the case of Sweet Corn in this example).
Now, one must actually TRY, which means doing all the right things and giving whatever thing your growing what it needs, but if it can’t do what it is supposed to, then it needs to be cut loose. And this applies to livestock as well.