BEAR PAW CORN (Zea mays) is an heirloom popcorn developed by Glenn Thompson of Vermont who grew and distributed it throughout New England from the 1930s until the mid-1960s. This popular variety was served in New England homes and movie theaters and was featured in the Vermont exhibit at the World’s Fair. SSE offers occasionally and I am offering to keep the variety alive with home growers. Please note that some have said this variety can be prone to smut (which is considered a gourmet delicacy, so don't panic). Plants 4-5' tall with attractive purple coloring on husks and stems. The very pretty pearly off-white kernels fill the 4-5" ears which are often flattened and split at the silk end, giving them the appearance of a bear’s paw. 90-100 days. 50 Seeds.
GROWING TIPS: Bear paw is better planted in blocks and can take up to 21 days to germinate. Generally speaking, Corn needs hot weather, plenty of time to ripen, and plenty of room to grow. Corn is a heavy feeder that is particularly responsive to organic compost and sweet soil (pH 6.0 to 6.8) and requires regular watering for good ear production and taste. Do not plant corn until soil temperature is 60 degrees. Provide a sunny location. Plant seeds 1" deep and 4" - 6" apart. I usually plant a little closer together and thin out the weakest so that I have them 12" apart, hilling up the strongest. You can grow in rows or you can grow in short blocks, rather than long rows, and still achieve pollination, or you can pollinate by hand. Please note that you must separate (by at least 100 feet) or stagger plantings (to make sure their maturity days are at least 7 days apart) different varieties and types of corn since they will cross pollinate. Corn needs regular watering - an inch a week, but never water the upper stalks after they tassle - it washes away the pollen! And regular feeding - especially nitrogen and phosphorous. In my area we are prone to sudden violent thunderstorms which can flatten my corn bed. So I have taken to providing a stake fence and securing the growing stalks with string as they grow. It makes quite a difference! Nothing more aggravating than watching your beautiful corn bed ready to produce to completely on its side! It also seems to frustrate the critters who nightly raid my garden! Harvest when the silks are dry and brown, usually 3 weeks after they appear. By the way, did you know your coffee grinder makes an excellent corn mill? Just be sure to clean out (or have a separate one) before using for either purpose.