Heritage Grinding Corns for Sustenance, Resilience and Self-Reliance

| 12/19/2011 12:59:44 PM

December and January is a time of rest in the gardens at SESE.  I spend a lot of time reading new gardening books, looking through seed catalogs and increasingly often following up on emails about seeds and gardening.

Daymon Morgan Kentucky Butcher Dent Corn for grinding 

Yesterday, I received an email with OSA’s response to a New York Times Blog post that perpetuates the misinformation and half truths about organic seed.  I felt inspired for the coming season reading about the potential and importance of maintaining our heritage of open-pollinated varieties, while also developing new open pollinated varieties.  The Organic Seed Alliance helps gardeners and farmers to continue to have the freedom and security that comes with saving your own seed.

Floriani Red Flint Corn 

North Dakota State University corn breeder Frank Kutka recently examined these issues in a peer reviewed paper, “Open-Pollinated vs. Hybrid Maize Cultivars.” Learn more about why open-pollinated varieties continue to feed our growing population!

Carol Deppe’s new book the The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self Reliance in Uncertain Times” devotes a large section to developing self-reliance by growing grinding corns.  In addition to Dent and Flint corns for polenta, she grows traditional flour corns.  These flour corns can grind up so finely that they can be used to make cakes and sauces!  And corn flour is naturally gluten free.  The book covers five main subsistence crops: corn, beans, squash and… ducks. It is a great read and an inspiration for those of us striving to produce more of our own food.

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