Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Number 1:

When do you think is the best time to strike cuttings from a White Mulberry? Supposedly when the tree loses its leaves but mine is desultory in that regard and before you know it, the mulberry starts working on new season growth.

Number 2:

I want to plant out a few lines of popping corn -- what you reckon about the week after Easter? Catch the last of the heat for germination, right? I've trialed store bought popcorn and it will strike but I'd like to get another crop in this coming school term.

Number 3:

Some children have donated a pair of Mandarin  saplings grown from seed. They have taken well -- but since I'm pretty much fruit ignorant, are citrus seed growns worth persevering with?

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Hi Christa,

I have a white shahtoot mulberry that you are welcome to take a cutting from.  It is still small so I'll let you judge if it has big enough branches to take cuttings from.    I also have a grafted red Shahtoot that hasn't thrived and I'm getting a replacement so if anyone wants to give it a whirl, they are welcome to it at the garden visit.

My Pink Shatoot was slow to take off. I reached the point where I had hold of it and tried to wrench it out of the ground. That's when it took off and started producing lots of regular sweet fruit.

Mine is probably on its last reprieve before composting. The branches have a fat bud of some sort in each node. I am hoping that is fruit. If it is the plant stays.

Totally agree on that popping corn Dave,I bought a pack from woolies and labelled grown in australia .The germination was great and produced well and left dried under the patio for a while it popped well also.i just put complete cob in a brown bag and straight in the microwave no need to muck around and trying to decob and get the kernals off

And it popped OK? I see a microwave full to bursting with popped corn!

Have you tried to eat the ears when fresh, Darren?

Hi  Elaaine didnt try them fesh as Id grown some sweet corn earlier wich was delicious but will give it a go next time  I grow popcorn.Yes my popcorn popped great but it was dried beforehand.

I did some googling...
And there are distinct varieties of corn that serve different food roles. So, my estimate is that you wouldn't want to treat Pop Corn as Sweet Corn.
Dent (Zea mays indenata)
        Dent corn is often used as livestock feed, in industrial products, or to make processed foods. Dent corn is also frequently referred to as "field" corn. Either white or yellow, dent kernals contain both hard and soft starch that become indented at maturity.

Flint (Zea mays indurata)
Flint corn, also known as Indian corn, is used for similar purposes as dent corn. Flint corn is distinguished by a hard outer shell and kernals with a range of colors from white to red. (You can remember that it has a very hard exterior by thinking of flint, the stone.) Today, most flint corn is grown in Central and South America.

Sweet (Zea saccharata or Zea rugosa)
        Sweet corn is primarily eaten on the cob, or it can be canned or frozen for future consumption. Sweet corn is seldom used for feed or flour. Sweet corn is extra sweet because it contains more natural sugars than other types of corn. (Field corn contains 4% sugar at the same stage standard sweet corn contains 10% sugar.) Almost 50% of the sugar can be converted to starch only 24 hours after sweet corn is picked, so it is best to eat it fresh!...

Flour (Zea mays amylacea)
            Flour corn is used in baked goods because it has a soft, starch-filled, kernal that is easy to grind. Flour corn is primarily white, although it can be grown in other colors, for example, blue corn. One of the oldest types of corn, flour corn was a chief type grown by Native Americans .
Popcorn (Zea mays everta)
                Popcorn, a type of flint corn, has a soft starchy center surrounded by a very hard exterior shell. When popcorn is heated the natural moisture inside the kernal turns to steam that builds up enough pressure for the kernal to explode. When the kernal explodes the white starchy mass that you like to eat forms. All types of corn will pop to some degree, but they won't necessarily have enough starch to turn inside out, or an outside layer that will create enough pressure to explode . One of the oldest forms of corn, evidence of popcorn from 3600 B.C. was found in New Mexico!

Interesting! Thanks for the googling Dave. Lots to know (as always!). I have eaten some kind of field corn, when young it is palatable enough though not worth it for us to grow who prefer the sweet one.

FYI Googling Tip: don't grow popping corn with sweetcorn as the cross fertilization will undermine your sweet corn taste.

Good googling Dave, I did not know about different types of corn.  I wonder how many of them are now affected by GMO.  I too, as Elaine mentioned, had plenty of corn to munch on when a child.

One thing I do know about corn, a rellie of ours, who lived out on the Darling Downs, flew to the States many years ago in about the late 50's and learnt about their corn growing, and won a contract to supply Kellogg's with his corn.  It was a big deal in those days. He had to adapt all his machinery to suit.

Enogen, a genetically modified corn for ethanol production, has contaminated non-GMO white corn grown in Nebraska that is used to make flour for tortillas and other products.

Interesting article Jeff.

Just the beginning of problems to come with GMO crops contaminating non GMO crops.



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