(yes, I know it's December now, and fully winter here in the ol' Western hemisphere. And the corn growing season is done, here in Florida, too...I think??...but we had this prodigal plant make it till now because of our warm temps...don't be hatin'...I need your advice!)
This is an ear of a South American type of corn planted from a seed I got from a rare seed company some time back. It was definately planted at the wrong time this year, just before the weather turned cooler. I think Jack only had planted three seeds, and one of the resulting stalks just kept on going despite the dips in temps.
It turned out to be a beautiful black purple, and even the husks stain my fingers purple...the color is deep and gorgeous. I do have some questions...I know there's somebody out here who'll have some answers :)
1. I may have picked this too early. How can I tell? The tassells had turned brown, so I guessed at it, but I don't know how to tell.
2. Why are so many of the kernels missing? There was only one other corn plant that survived, and it looked pretty puny. Does this have something to do with it? Or could it have been soil infertility? The soil was top dressed with composted manure, but underneath the soil was hard sand.
3. The few developed kernels seem to be fairly big. Why did they develop, and others did not? I did not notice any sign of insect damage either outside or inside the husk.
4. If we grew more of this, how would we best select and preserve the seeds for future plantings? Do we husk them and let them dry, and if so, at what stage and how would they be stored?