January 21, 2011

Homegrown Snack: Popcorn!

Writing about preparing for the corn plot made me think that I should report on the popcorn I grew last summer.


I have never grown popcorn before, so I was very curious as to how well it would do.


I found this nifty gadget in the R. H. Shumway seed catalog last year, so I ordered one. It's a Little Stripper Pop Corn Sheller.  I looked for it at their website so I could give you a link, but evidently they don't carry this item any more. [UPDATE: They can be purchased here. Thanks Melissa!]


The ears are rubbed against the ribs inside the sheller, which takes the kernels right off.


I have to say that it was quick and easy to use. The variety is Japanese Hulless. I planted one seed packet, and got about 5 cups of kernels in return. This isn't nearly a year's snacking supply, but it's a start. Japanese Hulless is open pollinated, so the only thing I have to remember is to save some to plant next spring.


It popped up beautifully! Very tasty too. I love popcorn so I'm delighted it did so well. Maybe I'll even try a new variety next year.

27 comments:

Renee said...

and now you have me craving pop corn!

Lynda said...

I love this post! I'm ordering popcorn seed, my grand kids will really get a kick out of growing their own popcorn. Thanks~

Theresa said...

Well yummy! I bet it's delicious.

Leigh said...

Renee, I know! Everytime I look at that last pic, I want some too!

Lynda, what a great way to develop a love of gardening in children! Dick Raymond, in his book Joy of Gardening shows how he carves his grandkid's names in pumpkins when they first start to develop. The names scar permanently as the pumpkins get big, and in the fall the grandkids come out to hunt for "their" pumpkins!

Theresa, mmmmm, it is. :) I hope to grow more next year. I think it would make good Christmas gifts too.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

If popcorn didn't bother my teeth so much, I'd be growing that too. Ain't getting older just grand??

However, cornmeal...now that we would use up! See, I really do need that grain plot!

Jane said...

I planted the same variety, but it was very small kernals. Could have been a variety of things weather, water, but when I pop it, it is so tiny. It makes me laugh.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Wow, I've never thought about growing popcorn! Was it really delicious? Thanks for a great idea!

Megan said...

Someday when I have a bigger area to garden, I'll be growing popcorn! That looks like so much fun! I love the name in the pumpkin idea you mentioned!!

Kids and Canning Jars said...

What variety did you plant. I need to do this, this year. My parents did it this way growing up. My dad always cooked it in a a cast iron skillet. Thanks for the awesome post. I looked the tool up on google and found one for $6.95 I may order me two of these. One for me and one for a gift. Thanks again.
Melissa
here is the link of what I found.
http://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=54048&c=534&p=Little+Stripper+Popcorn+Sheller

evelynoldroyd said...

What fun! Might have to try a packet this year.

City Sister said...

We go through about 5-8 lbs of popcorn a year...I love it...next year we are growing flint corn and sweet corn, depending on how that goes, we may have to add some pop!

Sara said...

I have to say that is too cool - to grow your own popcorn! Maybe next year, you'll have a bigger crop...

Life Looms Large said...

I am a big popcorn fan too. I've never had anything homegrown, or from the farmer's market even. Hmmmm....I'll have to check out the winter farmer's market to see if I can find some!

Sue

luckybunny said...

Looks so good, what a handy little tool that is too, how rewarding to have your own popcorn! Just seems like all together too much fun :)

Leigh said...

Diana, true confession, it bothers my teeth too. I have to be careful about how I bite and chew it. Still, they're my teeth, in spite of the dentist's and oral surgeon's best efforts to have them replaced with false ones!

Jane, hmm. Soil? I did buy a mini popcorn once from a health food store called Lady Finger. It made cute little pops of corn. Some of mine are on the smallish side, but I'm thinking soil fertility will help with that.

Mary, It was! I hope youdo dive it a try!

Megan, I'm really glad I gave it a try. It's on my must grow list from now on. All that's needed is enough space to properly pollinate!

Melissa, the variety was Japanese Hulless. I did have some problems with corn worms, but for the most part it did well. I'm going to try Calico next year I think.

Thanks for the link! I'm glad to know they're still available.

Evelyn, do!

City Sister, 8 pounds sounds about right. I'm going to try for more next year. Also going to try that field corn, and sweet corn. The trick is to avoid cross pollination so as to be able to save seed for the following year!

Sara, it's pretty neat. And easier than I thought. Bigger crop for next year is definitely in my plans!

Sue, start asking about. I'm sure someone grows it, or would be willing to, or maybe you could grow your own!

Luckybunny, it makes me feel good to know we've got a good quality snack, because who can live without snack food?!?!?!? LOL

Toni aka irishlas said...

Wow! Impressive! I love that gadget. Maybe we should grow popping corn this season. Food for thought...teehee

Leigh said...

Toni it really isn't that difficult and it's fun to harvest and prepare. And oh what a great feeling to grow your own snacks!

Robin said...

Oh lucky you. I so wished we had been able to get popcorn in last year. Oh well, I have high hopes for popcorn this year as my one taste of it was enough to get me addicted. The popcorn sheller is quite dandy looking. If we get a good harvest this year I may just have to get one. It's a serious pain in the thumb to do it by hand.

Country Sister said...

really cool! I was looking at the fun multicolored popcorn in Johnny's. Its seed catalog season here. BTW City Sister and I are thinking of keeping Garden Journals. Yours is really nice! Just for comparison...we just got another 8 inches of snow and it -7 degrees this morning! Hard to believe its nearly time to start brassicas!

Woolly Bits said...

I had some strawberry corn 2 years ago, which has small cobs with red seeds, but it didn't grow well for me. might do better in your weather? I don't know how it looks popped, but I thought the dark red seeds looked tempting....

starlighthill said...

I think 5 cups of kernels is a respectable amount from one seed packet. I eat popcorn every night. I must admit to putting the kernels in a paper sandwich bag and microwaving for 3 minutes, rather than popping it on the stove. Thanks for the inspiration to grow my own. The tool you introduced looks like a real time saver.

Mr. H. said...

Love that popcorn sheller, what a neat little device. We failed once again at growing our own this year...our season was just not long enough. I might try again though as my wife does love her popcorn...as they say, the third time's the charm.:)

bspinner said...

How cool!!!!! I love popcorn to and never thought of growing it.

Leigh said...

Robin, that's an affirmative on the popcorn sheller. So much easier! I did have some ears that were too small for it, but still managed to use it anyway. After this year's popcorn, it's a definite "must grow" for us!

Country Sister, if you and City Sister start garden journals, do let me know! I've dabbled with mine and think I'm not tapping it's full potential as a way to organize information. I really should work on that while it's too cold to get outside. I need to work on my garden notebook too, like Mama Pea and Erin. :)

Bettina, I've read that strawberry popcorn is really tasty. I thought about trying it next year, but teh calico caught my eye in the seed catalogue (plus bigger ears). We do fairly well growing corn, though it seems to do better in the Midwest.

Starlighthill, I thought so too! That's pretty clever about doing you own microwave popcorn. I don't have a microwave oven, but it sure would be easier, with less mess!

Mr H, yes, length of growing season can be a problem and corn does seem to like warm soil. If anyone can manage it in your part of the world though, I should think it would be you. :)

Barb, you should give it a try!

Mary Ann said...

Leigh, we grew sweet corn, did not have a big yield, but it was sweet and tasty. Now, this year, we are going to get serious... grow two varieties, keep track of EVERYTHING... I like your garden plan from the earlier post, we are going to do the same thing (plan on paper) - and we'll plan on some popcorn, as well.

Sharon said...

That's a big memory growing up. I don't know if Jiffy Pop is better but it doesn't "feel" bettxe
er.

Leigh said...

Mary Ann, well, at least we weren't alone in our sweet corn yields. I was successful though, and growing both sweet and pop with no cross pollination! That counted for a lot.

Sharon, oh gosh, I'd forgotten all about Jiffy Pop. I remember the commercials for it on TV. I used to beg my mom to get some but she never would. LOL