Gorgeous, early-maturing flour corn, excellent for toasting and parching.
The story of corn and people is a beautiful one of co-creation. Thousands of years ago, Indigenous people in modern-day Central America worked side-by-side with a wild grass named Teosinte until it became what we know as maize, or corn. From there, it traveled north and south all over the Western hemisphere along trade routes, and hundreds of different indigenous groups adapted it for their unique place on earth, where it shaped their diets and cultures. For thousands of years, Native communities have cared for their maize despite colonizers trying to separate them from it in order to control them. Both the corn and the corn stewards have survived, and it is through the generosity of both of them that we have the gift of corn today.
Most recently, this corn was selected from Carol Deppe’s breeding work for highly nutritious and delicious culinary corn varieties that can sprout and mature in cool climates. Shelled kernels can be ground into cornmeal, nixtamalized to make masa, toasted in a dry frying pan or parched in an air popper. About half the ears should have a red starburst pattern over a white background. The other half should be the colors typical of Magic Manna--solid white, pink, and red cobs.
For more information on how to grow and cook with Starburst Manna (as well as a fascinating genetic explanation about why the colors on the ears come out the way they do), check out The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe.
Banbury Farm grower Wayne Marshall introduced a bunch of us at SRSC to the wonders of parching corn in a hotel room in New Mexico, where we were staying for the 2019 Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance seed summit. Wayne must have set off the smoke alarm in the hotel room a dozen times parching corn in the air popper he carted down to New Mexico with him, and he made the rounds in the room doling out handfuls of the soft and chewy corny snack while we caught up with seed friends from around the region. Thanks for introducing us to parching corns, Wayne! What a delightful snack they are!
Seeds grown by Banbury Farm in Buhl, Idaho.
Directions: Direct seed after last frost. Harvest when husks turn brown, then shuck and dry cobs with good air circulation before shelling.
Days to Germination
Days to Maturity