Sunday, August 30, 2009

Collective Farm Woman and Black Aztec trials

Stunted collective farm woman

I feel like I'm sounding like a broken record with yet another reference to spring's less than ideal weather conditions, but the outcome on Collective Farm Woman melons and Black Aztec corn ends on a positive note! This 4-ounce melon decided to turn color and fell off the vine all by itself while we were away on vacation - it was like the Easter bunny come to visit! Smooth, blemish-free skin with a sweet fragrance, it may have been a good thing that we were absent while it matured because now I know that I should just let them slip off the plant by themselves. The pale flesh was very sweet, with the texture of a properly ripened cantaloupe. Sizes of 7-10 inches in diameter are the norm (this one here was about 3), so hopefully if next year brings a better primavera...

...it could also mean a much better crop of Black Aztec, a blue corn that caught my eye because of its heirloom status. I have only known yellow corn in my entire life, but the idea of making my own blue tortilla chips was a tempting experiment. I have the corncobs drying outdoors and when the kernels are ready to be shucked, I'll grind them to make this Golden Sweet Cornbread recipe, substituting yellow cornmeal with my homegrown blue.

Black Aztec Corn

Average daytime temperature: 21°C / 70°F

11 comments:

  1. Very interesting....

    With the corn, can you eat it "on the cob" like sweet yellow corn as well, or only ground up in recipes?

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  2. Hooray! Did you like the Collective Farm Woman?

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  3. italyMONDO - yes you can...when they're still in white kernel (milk) stage. I decided to skip that part and let the ears mature to full stage.

    Christina - 100% loved them (especially after that Tigger upset). They've definitely earned their own place in the garden.

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  4. Is the melon an heirloom as well? I want pictures of the inside! How are your tomatoes doing?

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  5. Cute melon. LOVE the corn. That is a really lovely crop. Does it take up a lot of space? Need full sun? I can't wait to hear about the grinding, tortilla part of the project...

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  6. Melon?! I thought it was an orange. Interesting. I had blue corn once and boiled it. The blue faded and it was white corn. Good luck.

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  7. Gail - yes it is. And if you think a pic of the inside will be of some use, I'll post the next one to ripen. It's just that with a stunted melon, I promise that you won't see much! ^-^

    Fern - I was really surprised for that small crop (of corn), and am anxious to make some blue cornbread and tortillas. As for the melons, they do need lots of sun and some space to sprawl out, but not like the darn turban squash that we also grew. Only 2 plants, but they tried, and are still trying, to take over everything!

    Maybelline - re: chameleon corn. Eh, just like purple beans, dontcha know? My intentions for the corn this year was strictly for ground meal/flour. Next year, for eating!

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  8. That is so funny, I was just looking at this melon in the Baker seed catalog and thought it looked promising as it's from Russia, a climate not unlike the Pacific NW. Next year I give it a try -- thanks for sharing.

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  9. Tom - I'm beginning to discover that any type of seed from Russia has a better chance of success where I'm at too. I'll be updating on cfw melons with some fruit that I pulled off the vine for myself.

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  10. I must digg your post so more people can see it, really useful, I had a tough time finding the results searching on the web, thanks.

    - Murk

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