Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This Multi-Colored Corn Is Real And There's A Fantastic Story Behind It

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-story-behind-glass-gem-corn-2013-10

Glass gems originalGlass Gem corn, a unique variety of rainbow-colored corn, became an Internet sensation in 2012 when a photo of the dazzling cob was posted to Facebook.

Since then, the Arizona-based company that sells the rare seed, Native Seeds/SEARCH, has been ramping up production to meet the high demand.

A Facebook page devoted to Glass Gem allows growers to share pictures of the vibrant corn variety. It has nearly 4,000 likes.  

But the story behind Glass Gem is just as remarkable. It begins with one man, Carl Barnes, who set out to explore his Native American roots.

The history was largely retold by Barnes' protegee, Greg Schoen, in 2012, when the corn gained national attention. We've broken out the highlights.  

The story of Glass Gem corn begins with an Oklahoma farmer named Carl Barnes. Barnes, now in his 80s, is half-Cherokee. He began growing older corn varieties in his adult years (no one is exactly sure when this began) as a way to reconnect with his heritage.

In growing these older corn varieties, Barnes was able to isolate ancestral types that had been lost to Native American tribes when they were relocated to what is now Oklahoma in the 1800s. This led to an exchange of ancient corn seed with people he had met and made friends with all over the country.

At the same time, Barnes began selecting, saving, and replanting seeds from particularly colorful cobs.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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