Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Friday, August 24, 2007


Ghetto cornAre you still with me? My vacation is continuing with another "crop week" post. This one is about my corn. Who knew that corn grew in the ghetto? No, I'm just kidding, but seriously, who thought that you could grow corn in a raised bed in the middle of the city?

I figured you'd have to have some serious yardage in order to grow some tasty kernels, but apparently, corn grows pretty much anywhere. I was also surprised, when I started looking at seeds, that corn is a grass. I'm always amazed at how ignorant and how far removed most Americans (myself included before this whole crop business got started) are from their food sources.

This particular variety is Hookers Sweet corn. It was developed by a woman who lived in Olympia, Washington. It's a stubby little fellow, making it ideal for growing in a limited space. I believe it is also a purple variety. I have yet to harvest any of them, but they look like they'll be ready soon enough.

Twelve ears of corn in a tiny patch stuffed with zucchini and gourds and they're going strong! Go, corn, go!


Anonymous said...

I live on a hill in Oregon and I would love love love to grow corn but I can only imagine that it would blow right over from the wind. Do you have a lot of wind where that corn is growing? Have you had any problems?

Crunchy Chicken said...

sandy - we actually do get quite a bit of wind since we are right off of Puget Sound (I swear on a number of occasions last fall/winter that the house was going to collapse during those windstorms).

In any case, it sure wouldn't hurt to huck a few kernels in the ground and see what happens. You might want to try a short variety (like the Hookers) that won't be giant windbreakers.

Oldnovice said...

I didn't plant corn. I've NEVER planted corn at this house. But, I have a corn volunteer in my garden this year, and I'm letting it grow. ????

Anonymous said...

We enjoyed some of this variety today. You harvest it for fresh eating when it starts turning bluish-purple, which is what ours did. If it is completely blue-purple then it's getting old and should probably be left for drying and making cornmeal for luridly-colored cornbread, grits, and polenta.

Contrary to the name "Hooker's Sweet Corn" is is NOT a sweet corn but an old-fashioned field-type corn. Even immature the corn is quite starchy, although it is also mildly sweet. My wife loves that kind. It works better for roasted corn than sweet corn because the kernels do not contain as much water and do not shrivel up as much.

For the same reason it is also more tolerant of cool soil. Along with the smaller size, it is therefor more practical than sweet and supersweet corns for growing at high latitudes like ours. Oh, I also live in Seattle, also catching the afternoon wind off the Puget Sound.

We have a large lot by city standards and are trying to grow a significant amount of fruits and vegetables. Next year we hope to have some chickens to eat our scraps, provide eggs, and provide manure for the garden. I try to grow nitrogen fixing cover crops and I recycle compost. I am trying to be efficient. My website contains a forum for "food and farming" and also a wiki for storing advice about self-sufficiency.

I am experimenting with different practices and evaluating different crops and varieties of crops. Crops that perform well with the climate and growing conditions get invited back; failures don't. I've had a lot of failures due to a lot of bad advice and have learned a lot about growing fruits and vegetables the hard way.

Kind regards.