Posts tagged with corn

Seneca Round Nose Corn #1

Posted on December 10, 2019 by Leave a comment

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Being an amateur native american historian, a gardener/farmer, and former resident of western New York state, it was inevitable that I would have an interest in growing Seneca White Corn/Iroquois (“Haudenosaunee”) White Corn. Seneca Round Nose Corn is the name of the specific seed variety that we planted this year (2019). Seed for Iroquois White Corn is hard to find. It seems that the sales of the seed is somewhat protected. The Seneca Nation of Indians do not sell the seed, but do sell Iroquois White Corn products through the Iroquois White Corn Project (“Ganondagan”). So far we have found three seed sources although the names and descriptions are slightly different. We believe they may all be the same variety, but we will have go grow them to form a better opinion. We planted the “Seneca Round Nose” corn in 2019. This corn has to be isolated when grown to keep the genetic purity of the seed. We will grow a second variety in 2020 and a third in 2021. This year we only had a about 50 seeds to plant that were 5 years old, but we did get excellent germination and did produce a small crop; certainly enough to use and also save seeds for future planting. All non white seed will be used or discarded. Some of our ears have a pinkish purple color or a yellow kernel or two.

We planted late this year due to a cold wet spring. That along with a few other growing issues caused our ears not to fill out completely except for one full ear. The stumpy ears will not affect the seed quality except for a small percentage of kernels.

Seneca Round Nose Corn
Seneca Round Nose Corn

Seneca Round Nose Corn
Seneca Round Nose Corn

We planted in “hills” this year in what may have been an Iroquois tradition. My parents used to tell me that the Iroquois grew the corn in hills with 4-5 plants per hill and that they would bury a dead fish under the hill before they planted to fertilize the seed. The fish would release nutrients as the fish decayed and the corn plant grew. This story may or may not be true, but it makes sense. It would require a lot of fish to plant a field of corn even in hills.

We planted late and in a somewhat shady area. This was necessary for us because we had lost previous crops to raccoons and deer. This time we planted within a 4 strand electric fence to protect the corn. Next year we will plant in rows for better light and less root completion, We may have less plants but hopefully higher quality full ears to harvest. We planted pole beans along side the corn plants and squash in the next row, in a way imitating the Iroquois corn-bean-squash trilogy (“Three Sisters”). In our case, the pole beans grew up our corn stalks, as expected, but also pulled down some of the stalks and reduced our corn ear production a little bit. This would not be a significant problem in a big corn field.

Growing Seneca White Corn
Growing Seneca White Corn

This corn is not a hybrid and can be replanted from year to year and you will get the same corn. You can replant your own seed. Even though you can buy and/or plant one of hundreds of varieties of sweet corn with long lasting sweet flavors, we picked one ear and made corn on the cob. The ear was just a little past its prime for sweet corn, maybe just a little doughy, but it tasted very good when picked and boiled it immediately. We put butter and salt on it and it did not taste much different than current sweet corn varieties just not quite as sweet. But still very satisfying.

Iroquois white corn is non-GMO (genetically modified organism), low in sugar, high in fiber, high in protein, gluten free, has a low glycemic index, is packed with amino acids and releases carbohydrates slowly. Consuming Iroquois Corn products may help to improve diet related health issues.

Boiling "Green" Seneca Round Nose Corn
Boiling “Green” Seneca Round Nose Corn

Boiling "Green" Seneca Round Nose Corn
Boiling “Green” Seneca Round Nose Corn

Our farm is just 8 miles from Houghton, NY where a major Seneca community once flourished. It was very satisfying to imitate, on a small scale, what they did every year, not so long ago. The Iroquois or there predecessors were the first to cultivate this land and grow this type of corn which has been planted for 1400 years and possibly longer. The Seneca are still planting this corn.

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Southern Deer Food Plot

Posted on December 22, 2015 by Leave a comment

Southern state food plots work differently than northern state food plots. When we say southern states, we mean south of the Mason Dixon Line, including but not limited to North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. One of the main differences in southern food plots is how forage crops are grown and established as annuals and not as perennials. In the northern states clover, alfalfa, chicory and a few other species can be established as perennial multi-year crops. The main reason southern perennials are hard to establish is an extended period of hot weather throughout the summer and many times accompanied by periods of drought. One of the staples of southern food plots is grain corn which is grown and left standing for the deer to feed on throughout the fall, winter, and sometimes into early spring. One of the most common summer annual deer food plot crops are soybeans. Deer like soybeans so much that many times they need to be replanted because the deer have eaten them down to the ground. That is what happened in these food plots.

Corn and Soybean Summer Planting

Corn and Soybean Summer Planting

In this field the food plots have been set up in alternating 12 rows of corn and 12 rows of soybeans. This makes a nice combination of cover for the deer and the availability of both grain and annual forb foliage. We use the term forb as a word to describe a variety of wild and cultivated flowering and foliage plants that the deer browse on throughout the year. In the Fall, Cool Season Brassicas, Clover, Chicory, Triticale, Turnips & Peas are planted to replace the soybeans. The soil is prepared and the seed is planted sometime between Sept. and November depending on how far south.

Mature Corn and Preparation for Forb Planting

Mature Corn and Preparation for Forb Planting

In the cool moist weather of a normal Fall, the seeds will germinate nicely and then establish themselves into an attractive food plot. The variety of species will be tempting to the deer throughout the Fall, Winter, Spring, and early Summer. The triticale, clover, chicory and peas will be immediately available and the brassicas and turnips will be preferred after a frost or two when they become sweeter.

Great Germination and Establishment!

Great Germination and Establishment!

By this time the grain corn has dried and will be preserved throughout the winter as long as it stays on the stalk and off the ground. The deer will get in a habit of feeding on this grain corn. If there are any squirrels around, they will help pull it off the stalk.

Beautiful Ears of Corn!

Beautiful Ears of Corn!

The combination of the grain corn and forbs, in alternating cover and open areas, surrounded by trees and brush, and nearby water, make this an almost irresistible place to feed and bed down. Trail cams record the plot visitations and help determine what deer are frequenting the plot, when and how often.

Cool Season Brassicas, Clover, Chicory, Triticale, Turnips & Peas

Cool Season Brassicas, Clover, Chicory, Triticale, Turnips & Peas

As the plot further matures into archery, crossbow, gun, and muzzleloader seasons, the plot is ready for the hunt. In this case a camouflaged stand has been erected in the tree at the back edge of the plot and will provide countless hours of enjoyment, quiet wildlife observation, and an opportunity for a successful hunt.

Established Food Plot Ready for the Hunt!

Established Food Plot Ready for the Hunt!

After the hunting season is complete, the plots will continue to be available to pregnant does, maturing young bucks and last years fawns. The food plots contribute to the overall health of the local deer herd by providing a year around source of high quality forage for the deer.

Corn Ears Still on the Stalk in the Spring!

Corn Ears Still on the Stalk in the Spring!

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