Painted mountain corn was an heirloom variety we grew last summer.
When deciding what kind of corn to plant this year, I contemplated whether I would grow it again. On one hand, it’s stunning. Truly beautiful to look at and harvest. Apparently you can eat this corn from the cob, but it was far chewier than other corn varieties we’ve grown. I do believe it’s a better variety for grain and baking. Baker Creek mentions it makes a highly nutritious flour for muffins, johnny cakes, tortillas and chips!
I wanted to offer a review of this corn and whether or not I’d grow it again.
First of all, this variety has been adapted for shorter growing climates.
Painted mountain corn is an heirloom corn from Montana. It’s rugged beauty is great for the colder mountains. Because we live in a Canadian mountain valley, I thought it was perfect for our location. The plants grew very well and quickly and I was impressed with them. When it came to harvest time however, the yield wasn’t amazing.
Corn is wind pollinated and needs to be grown in blocks instead of rows.
We did grow it in blocks, but it could have been the extreme drought and wildfires causing them to yield poorly towards the end. We also grew them in the permaculture 3 sisters guild with Kuri Squash and beans.
If I didn’t have growing space concerns, I would try this variety again. Part of me is curious about growing corn and grinding it, although it’s a lot of work. One of those ancestral skills that might be worth experiencing!
One day I also want to try glass gem corn
I grew painted mountain corn because ‘apparently’ you could still eat it as corn on the cob. That seemed more purposeful than the glass gem corn which is for meant for popping. One day I I hope to try this beautiful corn (my kids are begging me to!) but because corn takes up a lot of space, and we don’t eat a lot of popcorn I will hold off for now. Glass gem also takes over 100 days, which can be a challenge here so we tend to grow corn varieties ready in 75-90 days.
Glass Gem Corn from Baker Creek Seeds
Have you grown rainbow corn? Painted Mountain? Glass gem?
Please share your experience
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.