Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The Floriani corn is at 7' tall and still climbing aggressively. It has started to tassle but is not yet showing ear development. I'm betting on an ultimate 9' height.
Floriani is a flint corn variety, used for making polenta, masa, and corn meal. All the kernels are red, yielding a nice mottled red-yellow polenta.
The story told is that Floriani went early from the New World to Italy and was found recently on a small farm in northern Italy. Somehow it survived the great loss of plant diversity that occurred there, as here, as a result of the increasing concentration on a few commercial species in the 1960s and 1970s. Floriani was rescued by Community Grains, a project of Oliveto Restaurant's Bob Klein. With permission (thank you, Bob!) I snagged a couple of ears at an event last August.
If we get a successful crop - which is looking increasing likely but may require hand-to-hand combat with the raccoons in August! - it's bound for Sacramento's wonderful Magpie Caterers Market and Cafe.