Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review of Kaanga Pango Corn

I'm in the process of harvesting the Kaanga Pango Corn.  First, let me say that I know very little about this corn.

This is a heritage corn from NZ and was from the Wellington Seed Library.  I do not know what the Maori used this corn for.  The Maori historically used corn to making a fermented corn, they ate corn fresh, they make something that looks like a tamale, and they ate a pudding/mush from corn.
April 23 Foreground, Isola di Este, Kaanga Pango - near compost pile

It was estimated that Kaanga Pango was 110 days.

May 11, 2014 - Corn side dressed
I planted this corn on March 27, 2014 to flats.  It was transplanted to the field on 4/13/14.  As you can see the soil as already extremely dry and both corns are up and doing well.  I started 100 of each of these in the tray, at transplanting, there was approximately 85 of each.  The gophers ate a few and each plot ended up with 80 corn.  This field was not composted this year, but the corn was side dressed with compost and fertilized with fish emulsion and endo mychorrizae at planting.

June 15, 2014 Kaanga Pango Left, Isola di Este Right

By June 15, the Kaanga Pango was in full tassel.  The Isoa di Este had not tasseled at this point.
Kaanga Pango is about 6' tall.  It makes 3-4 tillers, and on the outside edges, each of these tillers made an additional corn.  These were planted on 18 inch centers, and by the looks of them, they could have used 24 or even 36" centers.  It's Leo's opinion that if I had planted them on 36 er's I would have yielded 4x as much corn.  For a not very tall corn, they are very broad.  The corn is held at about 2 1/2 feet above the ground.

July 13, 2015 Kaanga Pango & Papago Corn in the foreground
By July 13, the Kanga Pango was ready.  I left it in the field until Sunday, July 27.   All of this year's corn has been irrigated to the standard of approximately 1 gallon per week.  The temperature throughout the season has been hot 90+ every day and the evening lows, around 59 F.  We have not had our typical coastal fog once a week.  Leo noticed that due to it's tillering nature and the shade associated with that and that it was shorter, it need less water than other corn in the field,.

July 30, Kaanga Pango on the hoof
On July 27th, I harvested 2 rows.  In the field, I pulled back the husks, the husks were already too dry to braid, so I've just tied and hung them.  At this point the Isola di Este is ready to come out of the field as well, but it's 98 degrees, and I'm having a hard time working more than a couple of hours in the heat.

A few individual ears.  Note the yellow kernel where the Isola crossed with the Kaanga Panga
The cobs themselves are pretty nice looking, they range in size from 11 to 6 inches.  The central leader corns are larger and the tillers make smaller ears.
Harvest from only 2 rows
Due to the extreme drought, these didn't get quite as much water as they might have wanted during the flowering stage, which of course leads to some blanks and not quite perfect tip fill.  So now I'll let these dry down, while I get the rest out of the field.    This is about 50ish corns for 32 plants.  After I taste it, I'll get back to you.  Flint or Flour?  hmmm?

My son tasted this corn in the dough stage and found it to be very sweet.  It may double as a sweet/roasting corn if harvested early enough.  The outside husks were loaded with aphids...they know a sweet thing when they see it.  As for disease issues, there was some minor corn ear worm damage. With worm damage, comes a frass  that causes mold.  This occurred only on the tip of the corn, I think it partly because of the tight wrapper.

So, if we grow this corn again, we will grow at 24" and give it a try as a roasting corn.

Next up with this, we'll try baking and boiling.  

Yield:  Shelled 38 pounds.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dar's drought tolerant corn

HOLY MOLY, look at that corn grow.  This is Dar's drought tolerant corn.  This was transplanted on 5/11.  It's got tassels.
And look at the hooligans running amok in the corn.  Of these 3 kittens, 2 will become farm cats.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July Corn 2014

This is Dar's Drought tolerant corn...it's growing really fast.  I think I see the first tassel.

The Isola de Este is almost ready to harvest.   The Kanga Pango is right behind it.  Both literally and harvest wise.
Today we are harvesting the shallots, so that I can get these tomatoes trellised.  Yikes.  The cabbage is looking pretty good, better than the darn broccoli, which the darn gopher is feasting on.