Celebrating the Life of Carl L Barnes
Carl is of half Cherokee, half Scotch-Irish ancestry and was born in the family's original farmhouse about a half-mile from his current home. His father had moved the family west, where they acquired land and set up farming on the High Plains. Carl spent his childhood on this homestead, and the family lived through the 1930s Dust Bowl years, staying to survive the ordeal rather than leaving as many did at that time in our history.
To a seed geek like myself, Carl L Barnes was a hero. We were sad to hear of his passing on April 16th, 2016.
"Family, friends, and the seed saving community mourn the passing of Carl 'White Eagle' Barnes, who died in Grove, Oklahoma on Saturday morning, April 16. Carl was known for his years of work with heritage corn, enabling many Native tribes to recover and reunite with their sacred seeds."
"In the course of growing some of the older corn varieties still being farmed at that time, Carl began noticing ancestral types of corn re-appearing in his crops. As he isolated these, he found many of the variants to match up with traditional corns that had been lost to many of the Native tribes - particularly those peoples who had been relocated during the 1800s to what is now Oklahoma. Thus, he was able to re-introduce specific corn types to the elders of those tribes, and this helped their people in reclaiming their cultural identities. The corn is, to them, literally the same as their blood line, their language, and their sense of who they are." Continue Reading
What are some of the Heirloom Corn varieties that Carl worked to "Back to Life"?
The Glass Gem Corn
is probably the most popular variety at the moment. A few others include the Painted Mountain Corn
and the Cherokee Long Ear Popcorn
. These are some of the most stunning heirloom corn varieties I have ever seen!
This week we'll be highlighting our Heirloom Corn
varieties. If you have additional questions please ask!
***ALL of our Corn varieties are Heirloom, Non-GMO and Organic***
Heirloom Sweet Corn traced back to 1864. Despite its name, it appears to have originated in upper NY, and was probably derived from Iroquois Black Puckers
Originally from Virginia and traced back to 1845. Stalks grow 10-12 ft. tall producing 2 to 6 ears per stalk.
A beautiful blend of brightly colored long ears, wonderful for fall decorations, and is great for popping. This beautiful corn was selected by Carl Barnes, a world-renowned Cherokee corn collector from Oklahoma.
Beautiful 4½ in. ears, great flavor. 15 rows per ear. 6 ft. stalks, 1 ear per stalk, above-average pest resistance.
The ears reach 7-8 inches long and produce a sweet and delicious, white kernel. The ears have no rows, as this is a shoepeg type, and kernels are packed in a zigzag pattern
Produces a diversity of gorgeous translucent, jewel-colored ears, each one unique. A stunning corn variety selected over many years by Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer and breeder from Oklahoma. Selected from crossing several traditional corn varieties and saving seed from the vivid, translucent kernels. Size of ears range from 3-8 inches
Considered a staple corn of the Hopi people, this corn can be eaten as a sweet corn when young, or allowed to dry it can be used to make flour.
Hopi Blue has a higher protein content than a dent corn and makes wonderful tortillas. The 7 inch, dried blue ears also make great autumn decorations. Plants are 5-6 feet tall.
VERY RARE and hard to find corn variety.
Painted corn is extremely cold and drought tolerant for a corn. Painted Mountain corn grows about 5' tall producing ears about 7" long.
Released commercially in 1856.
This delicious white sweet corn is regarded as the "King of All White Sweet Corn Varieties", has been popular for over 160 years.
The popular, cute, little ears look just like big strawberries, just 2"-3" long. The 4' plants produce 2-4 ears each; great for fall decorations or making delicious popcorn.