Gaspé Flint Corn
(Zea mays); flint corn; a Slow Food Ark of Taste variety; 70 days
This short season corn variety is named after the Gaspé peninsula of Quebec. (see map below). The earliest maturing 8 row flint corn, it originates with Mi’kmaq of the Canadian Maritimes and North Atlantic Shores. Fields of this corn variety were observed by the French explorer, Jacques Cartier in 1534. Traditionally its dry kernels are soaked then added to stews.
Gaspé's short plants reaching a height of 2 – 2.5 foot. When direct seeding on May 23 2020 here in southeast Michigan (our soil temperature registered 68° F), it tassels within 30 days. Being so early, it easily avoids crossing with our more traditional corn. The small cobs measure only 3-4″ long.
I planted this corn roughly 8 inches apart in rows 9 inches apart to form at a minimum a 5 ft by 5 ft block with some that were longer.
Our original seed stock from John Sherck of Sherck Seeds. His 4 strain composite was created by growing out seeds over several seasons from:
- Original strain BC Canada
- Abundant Life Seed Foundation Strain
- Strain from Vermont
- WI Canadian strain from Heritage Harvest
With cobs being only a few inches off the ground, prepare to defend your crop from critters large and small.
One of my plots was planted adjacent to some extremely tall long season corn. As a result, it was in the afternoon shade. For the earliest harvest, plant in full sun.
For the discriminating grower, we are offering a special package called Gaspé Breeder's Delight. This pack of at least 250 seeds is a composite of our Gaspé population and has TWO seeds from 125 ears offering the full range of Gaspé genetics from our southeast Michigan plot. The Breeder's Delight package price reflects hours of great care and attention selecting the best kernels of each ear.
- 20 grams (~ 100 seeds)
- Breeder's Delight Gaspé composite