I’m fascinated with growing unique and unusual things in my garden. I love it even more if they happen to be beautiful. The first time I saw a picture of Glass Gem Corn, I knew it had to go in my garden asap. But first, I had to know, what is Glass Gem Corn?
The picture intrigued me so much that I immediately began to research the corn and get all of the information I could about it. After learning the details, I wanted to order some seeds. The only problem, they weren’t available yet.
Not to worry, I put my name on the preorder list so I could get mine as soon as they were ready for shipping.
What is Glass Gem Corn
What is Glass Gem Corn? Well, in simple terms, it is an heirloom Indian corn that had been lost for generations aside from one man preserving it. I’m always excited to learn about things that Native Americans grew because I’m a bonified card carrying member of the Choctaw Nation Indian Tribe.
You see, Carl Barnes, a part Cherokee farmer in Oklahoma, had spent many years preserving the healthiest, prettiest, and most vivid seeds from his Glass Gem Corn harvest each year. Over the years of doing so, this unique heirloom corn not only survived but it thrived in it’s beauty.
Mr. Barnes eventually passed some of his seeds to his student of corn breeding, Greg Schoen. Mr. Barnes was aging and wanted to ensure that this special corn lasted forever. Greg took this responsibility seriously and launched the effort to get Glass Gem Corn into more gardens and seed libraries.
A picture of Glass Gem Corn was shared on social media and it went viral. Many others, like me, were captivated by this rainbow of colorful corn and wanted to have their own. This is what started the Glass Gem Corn craze.
It’s amazing how one lone farmer can do something that is seemingly insignificant and reach thousands. I know that I’m glad Mr. Barnes worked so hard to preserve this seed and deemed it important to pass it on to someone who would continue his work.
The Glass Gem Corn that we grew did not disappoint at all. It was amazingly beautiful. So much color and detail in each ear. No two ears are the same. God is such an artist with his creation. I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of such simple things like vegetables.
Now, Glass Gem Corn is considered a popcorn but it does not actually pop well. I tell you from personal experience as well as what I have heard from others. It is a very good corn for grinding into cornmeal or grits. I can honestly say that the most delicious slice of corn bread and bowl of grits I’ve ever eaten is from our Glass Gem Corn.
The other cool thing is that the cornmeal has a purple hue to it. It’s kind of fun eating purple cornbread! The kids also love it.
We saved seeds from our harvests and have replanted each year. I love that I can keep growing this beautiful corn year after year. That’s the beauty of heirloom gardening.
It’s like opening Christmas presents when we harvest them and pull the husks back. No matter how many times I see it, Glass Gem Corn captivates me (Kind of like Farmer Derek 😉 ).
You can get you very own Glass Gem Corn seeds to grow on your homestead. Maybe we can do a seed swap to add to the diversity of our harvests!
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You pin is EPIC!!!!!! The photo you posted on Pinterest forced me to click over and see who really did such awesome photo. That was a great job. Thanks so much for this post. I never knew that these corns were called Glass Gem.
I planted 2 rows of glass gem this spring. My grandson and I are very excited and check it frequently. I’m fertilizing with compost and organic store bought fertilizer. We are hoping for corn as beautiful as yours! Thanks for posting about it.