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Sep 14

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Update on Bear Island Flint Corn Research Plot

Braided Bear Island Flint Corn

Written by: Dolly Potts, Agricultural Research Intern

Sept. 13, 2017

Fall is on the way and just around the corner is the harvest of the traditional agricultural research plot. Adam and I have been checking the plot at least three times a week. The stalks are drying and we get a peek at the kernels every now and then. Mostly when we find a cob the raccoons have taken down and chewed on. So our tally of raccoons has grown to eight. Thanks to Don Reiter, with the Environmental Services for live trapping the bandits and releasing them elsewhere. The damage was minimal with the raccoons getting twelve to fourteen ears.

Rebecca Edler with the moisture reader

Today we measured the moisture of the corn using a moisture reader a farmer would use. Adam picked a cob out of the plot to measure. The corn registered at 42% moisture content. We will pick the plot at 15% moisture content. The corn is shrinking and drying out on the stalks. A few of the ears are still green. They were planted later to fill in the spots that did not germinate. Adam, Rebecca and I have been discussing the harvest and working on the procedures for the testing. I braided a few of the cobs and hope to do some traditional harvesting braiding the corn. In the meantime, Adam and I have been assembling the soil lab at SDI. I will write another blog about this project soon.

Tomorrow Adam, Rebecca and I leave for Minnesota to attend a Food Summit and Native American Nutrition conference. My poster on Traditional Gardening and Gathering Practices was accepted for a scholarship to the events. We are hoping to learn more about the traditional practices used to grow and harvest crops.

Our posters are on display in the atrium at CMN for viewing along with the rest of the summer interns’ projects.

Permanent link to this article: http://sustainabledevelopmentinstitute.org/2017/09/update-on-bear-island-flint-corn-research-plot/