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The History of Indian Corn

Enjoy the beauty and a bit of the history of the Indian corn used in your fall decorations. 

Indian corn was a food source not decoration for Native Americans.  It was also grown and used for centuries in China, India and South America.

But before you get ready to cook up this decorative corn be aware the starchy kernels are not sweet like the corn on the cob we are used to eating.  Instead these kernels are ground into flour, cornmeal or used for popping.

The beautiful multicolored ears of decorative Indian corn is a more recent attribute, resulting from more than 50 years of hybridizing.

Try growing your own next season.  Make sure to keep it separate from edible varieties or stagger harvest times so there is no risk of cross pollination, ruining the flavor of your sweet corn.

Allow the husks to dry before harvesting Indian corn used as decoration.

A bit more information:  Don’t worry if you didn’t grow your own or purchase Indian corn this fall.  You can make your own from pipe cleaners, beads, ribbon, and straw.  Gather a variety of beads reminiscent of Indian corn.  String the beads on the pipe cleaner to create mini ears of corn.  Adorn with straw and ribbon and your homemade decoration is complete.

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