It is no joke. The corn is naturally multi-colored and not just for show. It is amazing as corn on the cob and looks delightful at any dinner table.
The Science Behind The Rainbow
A half-Cherokee Native American farmer from Oklahoma is credited with inventing this special corn. As word has it, Carl Barnes began growing older corn varieties and isolating heirloom types that had been lost to Native American tribes when they were relocated in the 1800s to what is now present-day Oklahoma.
Barnes also started sharing the ancient seeds with friends he met along the way. As a farmer, Barnes understood that corn is an annual crop and is wind-pollinated. Therefore, all varieties will cross.
Pretty Enough To Admire And Eat
Greg Schoen, a farmer who was gifted some of the corn seeds, began having fun by planting rainbow corn next to classic yellow varieties. This blend led to new and fascinating hybrids in 1994. Schoen was obsessed and kept cultivating rainbow corn each season.
By 2005, Schoen had a large field of the gem-colored corn growing near Santa Fe, right beside more traditional varieties that most of us are acquainted with. By using this strategy, new rainbow corn strains would be created each season. People fell in love with the beautifully jeweled corn, and social media took notice.
Expert Tips For Planting Rainbow Corn
These days, you can purchase rainbow corn seeds and head out to your garden and drop them into the soil. The seeds can be bought online in packets of 50 seeds for a little more than $3.00. Directions are included to help even an amateur grow these gorgeous, jeweled corn varieties.
All corn plants thrive in warm weather with full sun. Rainbow corn will grow and grow if you follow these simple rules: Seeds are planted 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart in blocks of at least three rows, instead of a single long row for excellent pollination.
The Secret Rainbow Seed Origin
If you’re wondering exactly what corn varieties created the original rainbow corn, there is an answer, according to Greg Schoen. He claims that Carl Barnes confided to him that a triple mixture was involved.
The rainbow seed phenomenon is the result of the crossing of “Pawnee miniature popcorns with an Osage red flour corn and also another Osage corn called ‘Greyhorse’.”
It is an incredible story that really began when Carl Barnes wanted to learn more about his Native American heritage and to connect with the tribes who were no longer around.
To his people, corn has always represented sustenance, the staff of life. Corn remains a significant symbol of many tribes today. The Great Spirit gave corn as a gift to the people, and corn has always played a unique role as both a food and a ceremonial object. Rainbow corn is another beautiful symbol that lives on.