Painted Mountain Corn was developed in Montana by corn breeder David Christensen and is a descendant of over 70 native corn varieties cultivated by Native Americans and settlers across the Northern Rockies and Great Plains regions. Due to its genetic diversity the kernels of the mature cobs have a beautiful variety of colours from white to deep red giving the corn its name.
Who Gets Kissed carries the distinction of being the first open-pollinated sweet corn released in about 100 years. Bred over 12 seasons between Minnesota and South America, it was co-developed by a team led by Dr. Bill Tracy of UW-Madison. Its name is a reference to a tradition from the days before mechanical husking, when people would gather for “husking bees” and anyone who found a red ear got to choose someone to kiss.
We also conducted a mini crop evaluation of kale and tomato varieties being trialed in the 2020 Citizen Seed Trial. June’s wet conditions were difficult on the tomato crop, but the kales are looking healthy. For the evaluation, participants observed the differences in the Winter Rainbow and Dazzling Blue populations and discussed which traits are most desirable.
The cycles of light and dark marked by the solstice remind us that our work is never done. The BC Seed Security program strives to support sustainable seed systems as a crucial component of sustainable food systems. Gatherings of like-minded seed enthusiasts provide us an opportunity to celebrate the efforts of so many dedicated seed stewards across our communities. These events also remind us of how much work is still to be done to develop high-quality, regionally adapted, ecologically grown, Canadian seed.