Glass Gem Corn
Inventory, ea : 0
This item was last sold on : 11/06/16
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Glass Gem corn is smaller than more commercial varieties; the cobs are anywhere from two to six inches in size. Growing on the stalks, covered in a light green husk, the corn doesn’t appear any different to the run-of-the-mill yellow variety. Peeling back the husk reveals bright green emerald, ruby, dark blue, amethyst, and a spattering of yellow colors. Each cob is slightly different with variations of colors and color combinations. When picked early, while the cob is still soft and the stalk is still green, the corn can be eaten raw though it isn’t recommended. Glass Gem corn is quite starchy, which is ideal for milling into flour.
Glass Gem corn is available in the early fall.
Glass Gem corn is a rare variety developed and bred by Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer in Oklahoma. The vibrant, gem-colored kernels are the result of years of selective breeding by Barnes, who was working to isolate and protect ancestral Native American varieties of corn. In 2012, pictures of the corn went viral, increasing the demand for the gem-like corn.
Grown more for its ornamental value, Glass Gem corn is a flint corn variety used mostly for grinding into cornmeal. The kernels can be popped, though the colors do not survive the process.
A combination of time and effort is what it took to make Glass Gem the vibrantly colored corn it is today. Oklahoma rare corn farmer Barnes had a degree in Agricultural Education and a desire to preserve the traditions and cultural identity of his Cherokee ancestors. When it was time to retire from the corn fields, Mr. Barnes passed seed along to a student who subsequently cultivated and shared the seed with a non-profit group in New Mexico devoted to retaining Native American culture and tradition. A similar organization in Arizona also preserves and sells the heirloom corn. Most seeds available today come from a hearty 2008 crop, though subsequent seeds are selected from as many ears as possible with the desired traits.
Someone spotted Glass Gem Corn using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Spotting allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.
Santa Monica Farmers Market
Near Santa Monica, California, United States
About 180 days ago, 9/28/16
Spotter's comments : Glass Gem Corn spotted at Santa Monica Farmers Market.