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Corn, or maize, evolved from a Mexican grass called teosinte. Dating back 8,700 years to the Central Balsas River Valley in southern Mexico, teosinte only contained a few kernels inside a rock hard casing, so It took hundreds of years and much effort for farmers to transform this ‘grass’ into our present day juicy ears of corn.
Popcorn has been around for about 4,000 years and was often used by the Aztecs to make necklaces, garlands and ceremonial headdresses. 1,000 year old popcorn seeds were discovered by archeologists in a Chilean burial ground, and surprisingly the workers were able to use them to make popcorn!
The most popular varieties of popcorn are white and yellow, but, other colors are becoming more widely available and popular, usually billed as “gourmet popcorn”. St. Clare’s offers some of these more unique varieties. Mini-carousel has multi-colored vibrant red, blue, yellow and white tiny ornamental kernels. Calico is a unique gourmet, colorful kind of popcorn, smaller than Indian corn, with multi-colored kernels that are yellow, brown, white, purple, red, blue, and calico. Like the Mini-carousel, it can be consumed or used to make gorgeous fall decorations, including dried flower arrangements and centerpieces, wall hangings, a fall arrangement for your front door, the possibilities are endless .
Unfortunately 90% of all corn grown commercially has been genetically engineered, so your best option is to grow your own non-GMO popcorn seeds. Plus, home-grown gourmet popcorn is considerably tastier and sweeter, with very little hull compared to it’s store-bought counterparts.
Popcorn contains vitamins B-6, folate, niacin, potassium, is rich in antioxidants and lutein, which fight macular degeneration and infections, and is quite high in minerals such as manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphurus. Packed with fiber and protein, popcorn’s high level of polyphenols are another great health benefit.
Remember that corn plants love rich soil, plenty of room and warm weather, but cannot tolerate frost, so plant your St. Clare Heirloom popcorn seeds in the spring after the last frost.
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