The Gem Corn and Its Origins

What do you think of when someone says the word “corn”? Some of you may think of creamed corn on the cob with steaming hot yellow kernels smothered in butter. Some of you may imagine yellow kernels just waiting to be popped to make delicious and healthy popcorn. Whatever you picture corn to be, it is almost a given that you do not equate corn with rainbows or gems but this is only because you have not yet been dazzled by the opalescent kernels that belong to the Gem corn.

What is this Gem corn, you may ask? Well, it is corn still but what sets it apart is that the kernels come in different colors and they practically look like little precious gems stuck on a cob. Just take a look at the gleam and the shine of those kernels! They are practically begging to be strung up and worn as jewelry!

Indeed, it is easy to think that this is all a hoax because who would believe that something as normal as corn could be so remarkable? Rest assured though, the gem corn does exist and it is all thanks to Carl Barnes.

Who is Carl Barnes?

If you love how the Gem corn looks then you have to Carl Barnes to thank for its creation. He is a part-Cherokee farmer and he is the person responsible for holding on to the seeds of the Gem corn. See, he was a corn farmer and while he was collecting harvest, he realized that some ancestral types of corn were popping up here and there. He collected the seeds and crossed them so he could make sure that their genetic pool was widened and this is how the Gem corn came to be.

There was a time when this type of corn wasn’t often seen but all thanks to Carl Barnes and is one seed preservation organizations, it really does seem like this is one type of corn that is on its way to the top.  If you too would like to plant your own Gem corn, you can order the seeds online although there may be a waiting period since the demand is high and supply is limited for the time being. Also, you best know that while it can be cooked an eaten, it is largely an ornamental corn that is meant to be displayed and marveled at.