"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison
Monday, February 16, 2009
The Promise Of Blue Jade Corn
Every year we try new plants or techniques in the garden, sometimes with great success other times not so much. Part of the joy in growing ones own food is in the experimentation aspect of the whole venture. We rarely have absolute failures, only because we take food production very seriously and usually limit speculative undertakings to a small percentage of what we grow or create in the garden.
This year we are trying a variety of new crops and will also be experimenting with various water retention methods amongst other endeavors. I must say that I am really chomping at the bit to get going, more so then in previous years. Perhaps the long winter has finally taken it's toll upon my patience, but more likely it is all the newfangled food gardening ideas I have been formulating deep within the recesses of my mind over the preceding cold months.
All was OK until I noticed Blue Jade Corn in the Seed Savers Exchange catalogue. I had found my nemesis...everyone seems to have one crop that they struggle with and mine is corn. I grow it every year and it is always a battle to bring the crop to fruition, this past year was certainly no exception. At first battered with wind and hail then washed away by torrents of rain, replanted, my Golden Bantam went on to grow into beautiful 8' tall maize that towered far above me. A mere gaze would cause my heart to leap with pretentious joy...I haughtily cursed the weather, for certainly I had at last triumphed in this inexorable pursuit. Never again would I fail to master the fine art of corn production. But in the midst of my celebration, upon seeing my contemptuous pride, the gods sent the wind to promptly flatten my corn back into the earth from wenst it came and a second recovery was not to be had. My fabulous corn was but silage for the chickens.
"Surely this year will be different" I thought, casting an uneasy glance into the heavens, for I had been introduced to Blue Jade Corn. Even I, a perennial underachiever in the cultivation of corn, might have a chance with this variety.
Blue Jade Corn or Baby Blue (botanical name - Zea mays 'Blue Jade') are miniature open pollinated plants that bear 3-6 (some say up to 7) ears of sweet, steel-blue cobs that turn jade-blue when boiled. Plants grow 2-3' tall. One of the only sweet corns that can grow in containers. The cobs are supposedly sweet and tasty for an older variety of sweet corn and are said to make fabulous creamed corn which freezes very well. Although I did read a review somewhere that stated If you are used to modern sweet corn, you may not like the taste of this old heirloom.
The blue color comes from anthocyanins which are concentrated pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue and are found in fruits, berries, purple cabbage, beets, and even corn. These powerful antioxidants have been linked to a wide array of health benefits. Possibly preventing the onset of major degenerative diseases of aging including cancer, heart disease, stroke, cataracts, and mental irregularities just to name a few. Anthocyanins are currently being researched for a large number of potential health benefits.
In conclusion, I am sure to prevail with my corn this year. Even I may prove victorious at growing a hardy short season corn (70-80 days) that should be wind resistant due to it's short stature. So what if it does not hold up to our less then stringent taste tests, most will be frozen or dried for flour anyway. Wish me luck...
Weary of the world and its illogical ways my wife and I have chosen a path towards self-reliance in all aspects of our lives. Our main focus is on growing and gathering our own food. We hope to use this blog as an avenue to share with and learn from others with similar interests.
The Good Life (click↓)
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." M. Gandhi
"Deep inside everyone of us is a call to the wild. Much of the impatience, discontent or violence around us is due to a lack of opportunity to reconnect with where we came from. For sanity and generosity of spirit, we should be able to witness nature at its unceasing, rejuvenating work." - Abdul Kareem
On Permaculture, Edible Landscaping and Garden Plants
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas
First They Came For My Seed..▼
"Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine" - Thoreau
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling, for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted. Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories where the machines were made that would drive ever forward toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley; I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city. I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.
Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments of those who had died in pursuit of the objective and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective as if nobody ever had pursued it before.
The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective. The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free to sell themselves to the highest bidder and to enter the best paying prisonsin pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies, which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects, which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress, to the completed sale, to the signature on the contract, which was to clear the way to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go homewould ever get there now, for every remembered place had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.
Every place had been displaced, every love unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant to make way for the passage of the crowd of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless with their many eyes opened toward the objective which they did not yet perceive in the far distance, having never known where they were going, having never known where they came from.