CHOCOLATE POPCORN is a rare heirloom type with up to 10 small ears per stalk and the kernels are a rich chocolate-brown. Pops up into fluffy white popcorn. 85-90 days. 25 seeds.
HOW TO POP: You can pop corn in your carousel microwave using a paper bag, scotch tape and a little oil -- spritzing the corn with olive or other oil before placing in the bag and sealing with tape. You may want to experiment with small quantities to get the temp and time correct. For example, the small kernal corn, like the tom thumb pop corn, takes a somewhat lower heat and less time than larger kernal. When popping stops, carefully open the bag and salt (I like to use Salt Sense, because it tastes just like regular salt but has half the sodium - and it has the lighter texture you want with popcorn). You can also play with various flavorings. Sure beats the high cost of store-bought!
GROWING TIPS: 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.
CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM GARDEN SEEDS & PLANTS offer hundreds of heirloom and vintage open-pollinated varieties. Most have histories dating back centuries and are tried and true producers. Some are rare, or threatened with extinction. When you grow a plant from heirloom seed and save that seed, you are participating in a practice that goes back for generations. Our grandparents and their grandparents grew these varieties. Often the seeds were prized possessions carried to the New World when they emigrated.
Ever notice how most seed catalogs require you to buy (and pay for) much more seed than you could ever possibly use in a season? If you have a budget for garden seeds, this limits your choices! Although seeds can be viable for longer than one growing season, it requires that they be stored at a consistent temperature and humidity. Few of us do this. CherryGal sizes its seed packets for the home gardener, because we know you may want to grow 5 different lettuces, or three different corns, and don’t want to have to take out a second mortgage to do so! But at the prices most stores and catalogues charge, if you sample 20 different vegetables, herbs and flowers you will be spending $50 - $70! But, the same seeds at CherryGal.com will probably run around $25. CHERRYGAL SEEDS ARE A TREMENDOUS BARGAIN!
Another important reason to grow a large variety of plants is that one of the chief culprits in honey bee colony collapse disorder seems to be that their immune systems are weakened by the prevalence of mono-cropping. In other words, bees pollinating only one variety crop have a diet equivalent to eating only bread. Growing an abundant variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers will help sustain our precious honeybees!
All seeds offered are FRESH stock, with high germination rates, tested by the growers and myself. Varieties are specially selected for home gardeners. If you want the flavor you remember from grandma's kitchen garden or the beauty of her cottage flowers, choose CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM SEEDS.
ABOUT OPEN-POLLINATED SEEDS . . . All CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are heirlooms (dating at least 100 years) or vintage (mid-20th Century or older) varieties, with an occasional modern variety included which I believe merits special attention. All CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are OPEN-POLLINATED. This means saved seed will be true to the parent. Don't be dazzled by the never-ending array of hybrid seeds promoted by gardening suppliers. First, seeds from that produce will not grow true to the parent -- you have to keep buying the hybrid seed (get the picture?). Second, most hybrids are developed for market – not home -- growers with an emphasis on extended shelf life, storage and shipping qualities -- NOT flavor, texture and all those other elements that home growers seek.
All CHERRYGAL HEIRLOOM SEEDS come from reputable growers (most of them small farms) and wherever possible ORGANIC suppliers (so noted). By buying CHERRYGAL SEEDS you are supporting the growing worldwide movement of SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE and with a little practice you will be able to save even more money in the future by growing open-pollinated varieties and saving seed for next year.
Please Note: CherryGal Heirloom Seeds are guaranteed to be fresh stock, but are not guaranteed as to results (sorry - we wish we could, but there are too many variables in gardening) so please do not ask to return. However, we think you will be pleased and would like to hear about your gardening success!
SHIPPING: I endeavor to ship my seeds as quickly as possible - usually within 24 - 48 hours. During peak seed season (January - June) this timeframe can stretch to a week or more because of heavy volume of sales. I do the best I can and fulfill orders in the order received. If a variety is on back order with a supplier and not likely to available for a week or longer, you will be advised and given the opportunity to substitute or cancel with refund. I package my seeds for shipping in a manner appropriate to the amount and type of seed - larger orders and larger seeds require more packaging. Whether you choose first class mail or priority shipping, your seeds will ship using a delivery confirmation number which will be supplied to you. Our checkout system is keyed to the US Postal System. For small seed orders, I recommend choosing FIRST CLASS mail at checkout. Larger orders (over 13 ounces) can ship either parcel post, though you may find PRIORITY MAIL actually to be less expensive. (I gave up trying to figure out the US Postal System rates a long time ago).
Lastly, I appreciate all my CherryGal.com customers, but have a special affinity for my seed customers. If you have a problem, please email me, using the contact links that are all over the website. Calling is likely to be a frustrating experience, as I do not have the staff to answer the phone and gave up my message system a long time ago because I was spending too much time answering messages instead of shipping and finding/growing wonderful things for my customers. But your email will be promptly responded to.