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Corn is such a wonderful weeknight veggie that sometimes gets taken for granted, or unloved in favour or a lower carb option.
Corn is a massively versatile plant, often subject to GMO and mono cropping and turned into all kinds of weird pseudo-foods. Today we will focus on the good corn stories, like the organic corn we grow on the farm!
In fact, we've grown a few varieties, like the Glass Gem Multi Coloured Corn and Hopi Blue, but we do find the best corn (most consistent and flavoursome) is the Golden Bantam variety or the Sweet Corn Max. Corn is best planted in Spring, and typically ready for harvest approx 80 days later :) Plant them in FULL sun (seriously, even this scorching sun?!) and give them lots of compost and organic matter to grow up into. Water a few times a week to ensure the cobs are juicy.
Given the timing to sow corn, it will mostly be available locally during Summer and Autumn. Corn doesn't really like the cold. Frost freaks it out which makes sense when you think historically it was a hot south American native crop.
The Three Sisters
This is an ancient Native American companion planting technique we have used at times on the farm and works really well at home too. Plant the corn, and then underneath each corn plant, also plant beans and then 'squash' or the Aussie Pumpkin (Butternut works well). They do really work in a wonderful symbiotic way to each give the other more nutrients. More info on this and the varieties is available at Green Harvest.
What's with the worms?
Some of you may notice that sometimes organic or home grown corn has a funky looking worm living in the top of the cob. These are the Earworm, and they turn into a pretty looking moth when mature. Of course we recommend plucking them off the cob and cutting out the affected areas, or better still if growing at home you can remove them when very small to prevent damage, or sometimes use olive oil at the tip of the cob to prevent entry.
Organic Corn is always preferable, avoiding GMO and the high level of chemicals used to produce commercial corn (they don't like the Earworms). Yes, it's true, corn is a starchy carby veg, best enjoyed in moderation :) It's also a good source of trace elements, Zinc, Magnesium, and Selenium if grown in healthy balanced soils. It provides potassium, B group vitamins and phytochemicals including lignans, phenolic acids and phytic acid, great for increased immunity.
It is absolutely best to eat corn as fresh as possible, although often corn can last inside the husk for a week or more and still be delicious. It's always interesting to find a corn that has a dry husk and may be starting to mould on the end and then find a magical juicing corn cob inside! Yay natural packaging!
Oh and on that note, I've used corn husks for natural produce wraps before (around the end of a zucchini etc), just fold it over and use a rubber band to keep in place! Works a treat :)
Keeping corn fresh in the fridge means keeping it from drying out. Try a reusable produce bag that helps retain moisture or a damp tea towel.
Corn Silk is a therapeutic traditional medicine used in Chinese and Native American philosophies for a range of applications. Obviously we do not claim to be a doctor here, so encourage you to do your own research BEFORE you throw out the corn silk :)
Here's one of the fave ways we use up lots of corn! Thanks to Making Thyme for Health for this awesome fail proof recipe 🌽