Floriani Red Flint Corn
Floriani Red Flint Corn
95 to 100 days — The stalks are sturdy and reach ten feet in height. The ears are six to seven inches long with twelve to sixteen rows of medium to deep-red colored kernels that are lightly yellow-tipped and slightly pointed. It is a very versatile and tasty corn.
While we were exhibiting the 2012 Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington, then editor of the magazine, Cheryl Long, told us about this variety. During the conversation she made an interesting point that although corn is native to the "New World," and by far the largest commercial crop grown here, modern people do not eat real corn anymore. "You can't even really buy good corn meal in the grocery store," she said. "There is no selection; Just generic 'corn meal' with no hope of knowing what variety you are eating or how long ago it was ground."
We have to admit that she sold us on the idea that everyone, from a small gardener to a homesteader, should be eating grain that they grew, harvested and processed themselves, with corn included at the top of the list. Cheryl and her sister both sent me seed and we started growing it.
'Floriani Red Flint' was named by William Rubel after his Italian friends who grow it and generously shared their seeds. Adapted over the centuries, through selection, by the Alpine farmers who ate it themselves, it became the staple polenta corn of the people living in the Valsugana Valley near the city of Trento, in Italy.
Along with being used for making polenta or grits, it can also be used to make an amazing corn bread or in any other recipe calling for corn meal. A friend of mine asked me if it popped. So I did an experiment (see picture above) and learned that it makes an awesome tasting parched corn. Check out the "More Information" tab above for informational links and recipes. Each ounce is approximately 100 to 110 seeds.
Sow seeds about 1½ to 2½ inch deep, 3 to 4 inches apart, in rows spaced 24 to 30 inches apart. Thin to 6 to 12 inches apart. Informational References:
- "How to Make Grits, aka Polenta, from 'Floriani Red Flint' Corn," by Cheryl Long, Mother Earth News
- "Floriani Red Flint Corn: The Perfect Staple Crop," by William Rubel, Mother Earth News, Dec. 2010 / Jan. 2011
- "Best Cornbread Recipe," by William Rubel, Mother Earth News, Dec. 2010 / Jan. 2011
- Polenta is cornmeal boiled into a porridge, and eaten directly or baked, fried or grilled. The term is of Italian origin, derived from the Latin for "hulled and crushed grain." In ancient times this was commonly barley-meal which was replaced by corn (maize) many centuries ago.
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