Every year for the last 15 I’ve planted sweet corn and one type or another of corn for corn meal. I finally settled on Painted Mountain Corn as a corn meal variety because it does very well here. But I wanted another corn for white hominy so I began looking around for white flint and flour corns that were short season and of northern latitude origins. Dakota Ivory is the one I chose this year and it has done very well. Harvesting of mature nearly dry cobs began yesterday.
Dakota Ivory is a true Northern Plains flour corn with short, thin stalks between five and six feet tall and ears borne on the third to sixth nodes. Generally there is one ear per stalk but many had two full-sized ears. Fully mature seeds from the plants with two ears are being saved to plant next year. The ears show some variability something expected with open pollinated corn varieties. The kernels are ivory-white, although a few have a little yellow or red tint, in eight to ten rows on six to eight inch slender cobs.
The Painted Mountain Corn and sweet corn are also ready for harvest. I have been selecting for stronger stalks and longer cobs on the Painted Mountain Corn for several years. Even though there were some very windy days with gusts to 30 mph only a few plants blew over. Cob size has increased from six inches to eight inches with some almost 10 inches and filled with large kernels to the tip. Many plants also had two ears and if they are on strong plants with large normal cobs seeds will be saved from them. I noticed a tendency to form two cobs a few years ago and have been planting seeds from those plants in the same parallel rows as well as planting some in the rows of single-cob seed.
The first harvest of sweet corn for winter storage began today. The cobs will be steamed and the kernels cut off and frozen. This is a colorful variety and has many lines of sweet corn and flour corn in its ancestry. I have been selecting this one intensively for short height, wind resistance, color, increased rows of kernels per cob, and multiple cobs with full rows of kernels. There has been much progress in all areas. The stalks are between five and six feet, thick, bushy (tillers), and loaded with prop roots. Colors of the kernels are like a rainbow. Cobs are about eight inches long with eight to twelve rows of kernels. Most plants make three ears although the third is not always well-formed but several were found this year with four normal ears and a few smaller ears. The flavor is sweet but not overpowering like super sweet hybrids. This corn, if left to mature on the stalk, makes good parched corn and pinole, too.