We still have so many crops left to harvest here on the farm that I struggle with the desire to just leave all of it out there and hide in the house. Most of it requires a fair bit of work on my part to bring it inside, all except for the popcorn. It is time to harvest the popcorn, but all I need to do is pluck it from the stalk.
Have you ever thought about growing popcorn?
Sure, popcorn is inexpensive and simple to get at your local grocery, but there are many reasons for growing popcorn!
Don’t eat Microwave Popcorn!
One of the most common food products that exposes us to damaging plastics is microwave popcorn. That oh-so-convenient bag is lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which is also found in Teflon coatings. It is easily absorbed into food (and our bodies) when heated, and the microwave is just about the worst place for it. PFOA has been linked in studies to infertility and cancer. (Read about more Microwave Popcorn Dangers.)
You Control How to Grow Your Popcorn
Popcorn, while not a GMO as of yet, is a heavily polluted crop. In order to grow it on a large scale commercially it requires copious amounts of toxic insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and fungicides. Growing popcorn means you now control all that.
Growing Popcorn is Cheaper than Buying Organic
Because commercial popcorn is polluted, popcorn is a food you should buy organic, and growing your own means it’s cheaper!
Your Fresh Popcorn will Taste Great
It tastes great! Fresh popcorn pops better and leaves less un-popped kernels.
Growing Popcorn is Fun for Kids (and you)
It’s fun! We grew two different kinds of heirloom popcorn this summer and the kids are so excited to strip the ears responsible for their winter snacks. This year we grew “Glass Gem” and “Bear’s Paw” from SeedSavers so we will have two different colors in the pan.
Growing Popcorn Connects Us with our History
Growing your own popcorn is also a great way to connect to history. Popcorn was enjoyed at the first Thanksgiving feast and was a staple of the Native American diet.
More about Growing Popcorn
Popcorn takes up some room in the garden and that’s the downside. You need to grow at least four rows that are about 36-inches apart. The husks need to turn completely brown before harvest. When ready for harvest, the kernels will be impervious to a hard-pressed fingernail.
We’ll shuck our popcorn and bring the ears in to dry out further for a few weeks. As winter descends and we find ourselves sitting in front of the television a bit more, everyone joins in the fun of rubbing the kernels off. This must be done with gloves to protect the hands.
All we need now is a hot pan with a lid and some butter!
So, today I’m off to pick the popcorn. And just so I don’t feel too lazy, I think we’ll cut down the stalks and make a corn shuck decoration for the front yard. Halloween is coming after all, and I can’t let anything in the garden go to waste!
Are you interested in growing popcorn? Have you ever done it before? Share your experiences below.