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Glass Gem Corn, Amazing and Edible But Once Endangered

Thanks to seed savers over the generations, this amazingly diverse corn exists and is 100% edible. After being re-discovered just a few years ago, this special variety is now in high demand.

Glass Gem corn is an old variety of corn with kernels that come in a rainbow of colors. It was almost fazed out of agriculture’s conciseness due to a lack of demand, but its recent resurgence should remind us to look after the more diverse varieties of fruits and vegetables or risk losing them forever.

The special colored corn was given a new lease of life when a photo of it went viral. Business Insider reported the story of this special corn that an Oklahoma farmer called Carl Barnes has been growing for many years. Carl Barnes has a special interest in this corn, as being half-Cherokee he felt the desire to reconnect with his heritage.

glass-gem-corn

He exchanged Native American corn seeds with seeds from other farmers from around the country, the result-rainbow colored corn!

The corn went relatively unnoticed until in 1994, when an other farmer, Greg Schoen obtained some of this rainbow corn seed from Barnes and started growing it himself. His amazing photo of the rainbow corn went viral in 2012, and send the want for these seeds sky-rocketing.Yo can buy a packet of these seeds from Native Seeds for $7.95 for a 50-seed packet, and amazingly the seeds they sell come directly from the seed gifted to them from Schoen.

The process of saving seeds from specific-colored kernels has allowed people to become creative with the colouring of the corn, which has resulted in many different colour combinations.

Glass Gem corn is ideally used for popcorn and for grinding into cornmeal, rather than eating straight off a barbecue.

Food Bank says that there are about 100,000 global plant varieties that are endangered. Saving seeds ensures a large variety of plants can continue to thrive, and is essential for agricultural biodiversity.

Saving seeds doesn’t only help improve agricultural biodiversity, but helps farmers and researchers find varieties of crops that grow better in different regions, especially as the impacts of climate change become evident. Many farmers groups, nonprofits, and governments are conserving crops in their own communities — there are currently more than 1,000 known seed banks, collaboratives, and exchanges around the world.
You can go to a local seed swap, swap with others online or even get involved in one of the 15 seed saving strategies that Food Bank has set us to ensure that these kind of seeds never become endangered again.

Source: http://www.organicandhealthy.org

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