As fall approaches, so does harvest season in our native garden. Ranger Ethan spent a day recently harvesting the unique and beautiful corn that we have grown this year from our heirloom seeds. Some of the corn is from seed grown even today in our neighboring pueblos, but other varieties we grew are similar to those grown in the desert southwest for centuries. These ears are quite different from the beautifully even ears of yellow or white sweet corn grown in the Midwest. No matter how you try, you will never turn these ears into juicy corn on the cob! They are a harder kernel which is intended for boiling or crushing into corn meal. These ears are beautifully colored, and we all waited in anticipation to discover what colors each ear might be as we pulled away the silk and husks!
Some of the varieties are heirloom Spanish seeds, and these ears are longer, the corn plants are taller, and the ears tended to be more purple/blue in color. We discovered that even though the varieties were separated in our garden, some cross pollination had occurred, and we have some beautiful hybrid ears as well. All of the corn will be drying and will eventually be added to our native seed bank for distribution into the community, so if you are interested in some native corn seed, please come by Coronado Historic Site to talk to us!