Dakota Ivory Corn

The first ripe ears of Dakota Ivory Corn
The first ripe ears of Dakota Ivory Corn

These are the first ripe ears of the open pollinated heirloom flour corn variety Dakota Ivory I planted this year. This is an old variety planted by Native Americans in the Northern Great Plains for centuries where growing conditions are difficult. The corn’s productivity and its adaptability to the short season and dry soils of my region reflect many generations of selection.

The corn patch is about 20 feet wide by 50 feet long with about 500 plants in five rows. The growth of this variety was fast. Tassels and silks appeared early with the first signs around July 15. Many plants produced two full-sized ears. The ears are low on the stalks and about two feet above the ground. Average height of the stalks is 5 feet.

The plants are starting to die back now, leaves and husks browning and yellowing, the green fading. Very soon it will be time to harvest the whole crop. The corn lets you know when that time has come when the ears point down.

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