Zea mays. Glass Gem. Gorgeous translucent, jewel-colored ears, each one unique. A stunning variety selected over many years by Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer and breeder from Oklahoma. Selected from crossing several traditional corn varieties and saving seed from the vivid, translucent kernels. Gifted to NS/S by Bill McDorman who acquired the seed from Greg Schoen, one of Carl’s students. To read the story behind this magnificent corn, check out this Native Seeds Blog post . From our Seed Bank Collection.
Seed Saver Size includes approx 35g/250 seeds plus information on corn pollination and seed saving.
All photos shown here are copyrighted by Greg Schoen and used with permission.
ORGANIC. Cherokee rare corn farmer Carl Barnes spent years isolating Native American corn varieties to save a lost heritage, ultimately preserving his glass gem corn seed. Producing a variety of translucent, jewel-toned ears in rainbow colors, each one unique and extremely beautiful. So beautiful you won’t want to eat it! Excellent for popcorn, grits, polenta, and cornmeal.
Know when to plant. Depending on your region and the type of corn you are planting, you will need to plant seeds at a different time. Typically, the best time to plant is mid-May to late-June. Be wary of planting too early, since the seeds will rot if the soil is too cold. If you have a soil thermometer, check the temperature regularly and wait to plant until the soil reaches 65ºF.
Corn likes to grow in areas of full sun, so select a garden plot that is out in the open. Try to choose an area relatively free of weeds, as corn has a difficult time competing.
Corn prefers soil that is nitrogen rich and well manured. Add compost or manure to the soil two and four weeks before planting so that it has time to incorporate with the soil.
Corn is wind-pollinated, so it is best to plant it in blocks rather than individual rows so that the pollen has a better chance of germinating.
Plant the seeds every 3 inches along rows, with 24–36 inches of space between rows. Plant at least four rows so the wind can spread pollen between them.
Plant the seeds 1–2 inches below the surface of the soil.
Water the corn. Corn requires about one inch of water a week, and lax watering can produce ears with many missing kernels. Apply water to the base of the plants to prevent washing away pollen at the top of the plant.
Weed around young plants. Keep the corn weed-free until it is about knee high. After that, your corn should out-compete the weeds on its own.
As the saying “knee-high by the fourth of July” goes, your corn should be 12–18 inches tall by the beginning of July. The corn is finished growing about three weeks after it develops “tassels” – a dry, brown silk tail at the top of the ear.
The corn is ready to be harvested when the kernels are tightly packed and produce a milky fluid when punctured. This is called the “milk stage”. Eat immediately after picking for the best flavor and optimum freshness.
Corn- Sweet– Dent- Pop, Zea mays
Pollination, wind; Life Cycle, annual; Isolation Distance, 1-2 miles
Corn is monoecious plant, meaning it has separate male (tassel) and female (ears)parts on each plant. Select the earliest and fullest cobs on each plant for seed saving. If you are unsure if how much space is between you and your next possible corn growing neighbor, cover the tassel and ears with bags to protect from cross-pollination. Allow the ears to develop and dry out on the stalk for as long as possible. When ready to dry, pull back the husks and place in a rodent-proof area. Once full dried, carefully break off the seeds and store in a cool, dry place.
The Seed Guide for Illinois is here.
Insect control technology provided by Vip3A is utilized under license from Syngenta Crop Protection AG. Herculex® is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Agrisure Viptera® is a registered trademark of a Syngenta group company. LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design®, Poncho® and Votivo® are trademarks of BASF Corporation. Respect the Refuge and Corn Design® and Respect the Refuge® are registered trademarks of National Corn Growers Association.
Performance may vary, from location to location and from year to year, as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible and should consider the impacts of these conditions on the grower’s fields.