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baby corn review

Baby corn is likely the silliest crop I've ever grown.  Grow four feet of soil-sucking stalk to get half a dozen ears the size of your finger.

Nevertheless, I grew two varieties of baby corn this year.  Bonus (from Kitazawa seeds) and Chires (from Baker Creek). 

Bonus seems the more commonly-available seed.  The rules for it appear to be fussy:  plant 1" apart, harvest the ears when the stalks are 18" tall (even though they'll grow to a few feet).  I didn't even see ears when it was that small, so I let it go...and when I finally did see the ears they were already the size of small ears of popcorn.  Supposed to average 3 ears/stalk.

The Chires corn matured significantly later (a couple of weeks after the Bonus corn had reached small popcorn size).  But the ears were textbook baby corn.  Supposedly as many as 20 ears/plant.  I wasn't seeing that, but definitely more than with Bonus.

Not a ton of flavor...but hey, it's baby corn.  I threw half a dozen ears into some leftover sugar-vinegar 'slaw; tasted okay.

So, based on that limited experimental evidence...if I were only going to grow one variety, it would be Chires.  If I wanted to extend the season I'd grow Bonus as well - and follow the instructions this time.

Like any other corn, it needs to share its pollen in order to set ears.  Growing in a block instead of in a row will help with this.

Ideally, I'd probably move on to other crops, actual foods rather than novelties.  But, they are darn cute.  And if I ever go the market/CSA route, they are a unique item that would help me stand apart.   

I read some hints that one could baby-ify any variety of corn by just planting the ears really close together.  I'm a little skeptical.


Friending welcome, but lurking is fine too.

Constructive criticism is also welcome - whatever it is, trust me, I've heard worse.



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