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Updated: Mar 16, 2023

Another success!

So much of what I do is experiment and learn what I can do in the world around me. As always, I have another experiment to report on.

This year my goal for the garden was to try a variety of “extras” that would fill in the gap if I wasn’t able to buy at the store. I have shared a few new seeds that I searched out this spring to add to my seed library. I wanted to be able to grow and gather the seed to keep the seed fresh, but also be able to see if it would be a crop that would grow here. With any new crop there is a learning curve on how to grow, harvest and utilize after. I shared with you how my experiment ended on the peanuts that I grew, but today I am going to tell you about my next new experiment….. POPCORN!

I never really knew that popcorn was its own variety of corn until this spring when I started looking into the difference in corn and each variety's purpose. There are many different kinds and colors of popcorn. I chose a Dakota black popcorn. It is a beautiful black seed that pops white. It is an heirloom variety so I knew that it would be a stable seed to try.

Growing the popcorn was like growing a typical corn and there really wasn’t any difference. It grew well the first time I planted it, unlike the sweetcorn that I planted.

Now this is at the point that I really had no idea what to do after. How to harvest, when to harvest, what to do with it to prepare it to be popcorn. I had done some research in it and the big key is to make sure that the moisture content is right for popping. Anything less and it won’t pop… anything more, and it won’t pop, but how do you figure that out? This was the big question and I researched it a lot and I basically came up with …there's no scientific procedure. Like most experiments I was flying by the seat of my pants and just doing what I thought might be the right thing.

I knew that I had to wait for it to dry on the stalk in order to harvest. I decided I couldn’t wait any longer and needed to go out and get it as the chipmunks and birds were starting to harvest it for me. I brought them in the house and hung them by the stove for a few days. It was periodically lit, but not hot. I have had them sitting in a cool back room for a little over a month and decided that I would start to try to see if they would pop. Basically, from what I gather after 4 to 6 weeks after harvesting you start trying to pop a few kernels at a time to see how well… or if they pop. If they pop, you will store the kernels in a tightly sealed glass jar. If they do not pop then you would keep trying until they have gotten to the right moisture content.

Well tonight the other night we finally had a big bowl for a snack! This has been a yearlong experiment, from the research and choosing of the seed to the growing of the seed to the harvesting and now to see if my plan will come into fruition….. THEY POPPED!! that’s pretty exciting!

The taste is also so yummy, and they popped a full-size piece! This has been a rewarding goal!

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