Living HOMEGROWN: Growing Corn For Tortillas

| 8/10/2011 10:51:00 AM

Tags: tortilla, corn, heirloom varieties, cooking, mexican, recipe, Farm Aid and,

Originally posted at 


 Rachel Dog Island Farm 

My friends in college used to call me a Renaissance woman. I was always doing something crafty, creative, or utilitarian. I still am. My focus these days, instead of arts and crafts, has been farming as much of my urban quarter acre as humanly possible. With my husband, we run Dog Island Farm in the SF Bay Area. We raise chickens, goats, rabbits, dogs, cats, and a kid. We’re always keeping busy. If I’m not out in the yard I’m in the kitchen making something from scratch. Homemade always tastes better! 

This is our sixth year growing corn. Our first year we grew the standard sweet hybrid corn. It did pretty good. The second year we decided to go with heirloom "dual purpose" corn. When young, it could be eaten right off the cob and when it was mature it was a flour corn. We ended up waiting too long to eat most of it early on so we ended up with a bunch of flour corn. The variety was called Bloody Butcher and was a beautiful deep red. We've tried other varieties of heirloom corn but we always come back to this variety because it's the most successful for us. We use it for fall decorations and then later strip the kernels from the cobs. When we first grew it we ended up with a bucket full of dry corn and I had no idea what to do with it. The bag ended up getting put up in the cabinet and it was soon forgotten.


Two years later and with my desire to become more self sufficient I decided to do something with the corn. Here's my adventures in corn tortillas.

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