Almost Free Hickory Cane Seed

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ken Scharabok, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    OK, doesn't look like Countryside magazine will publish from offer there, so will make it available here on the forum exclusively.

    I have a neighbor who is in his 70s. He has planted and saved ears for replanting from when his parents had the farm. He says this is the original Hickory Cane, not to be confused with the Hickory King you can buy most anywhere. He swears Hickory King may have been developed from Hickory Cane, but isn't the same.

    Personally I don't know, so I'll take his word for it. He has never tried to develop this strain, such as saving kernels from only the largest and best ears, so there is a wide variety in ear size and stalk height. (Another person in the area does grow Hickory King seed and I have noticed most of his stalks and ears seem to be very consistent.) He did try to keep this planted separately to avoid any cross-pollination.

    Most years he lets me haul off most of the corn stalks after he has picked what he wanted as cattle feed. Last year I saved some of the ears and dried them in the shuck as he continues year-to-year with a smaller and smaller planting. I don't know how much longer he will even plant.

    I am told this corn does best in the mid-tier states from NC/SC to MO.

    If you will send me $1.00 to cover the cost of the padded envelope and postage, I will send you between 60 and 100 kernels. Perhaps more, depending on how many people are interested. In return, you have to promise to send me the kernels from your best ear so I can do this next year also. You also have to promise to try to spread this old strain by encouraging others to try it as well from the seed you get. I would encourage you to save seed from only your biggest and best developed ears even though some folks say it doesn't make a different in future crops.

    A bit of history at least locally. At one time there wasn't a 'sweet corn'. Some folks used field corn, but those most grew this Hickory Cane. It was sweeter than standard field corn and was prized for hominy and white corn meal. Ears grew much larger and stalks were much taller than standard field corn. After the ears were picked, the stalks would be harvested and stored as winter fodder. In some areas of the country I believe it was called White Corn.

    I will ship these out in mid-March. If I get more requests than available seed I will return your $1.00. First come, first served basis.

    Ken Scharabok
    1645 West Blue Creek Road
    Waverly, TN 37185
     
  2. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    594
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    centeral Okla. S of I-40, E of I-35
    I am on my way to the post office Ken.
    I had been wondering if I had missed your offer some how, becuase I have been looking for it in the magazine.
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    I guess Anne-marie overlooked it. She's getting married again in a couple of months so perhaps has other things to think about. Too late now to get it in for spring planting. Maybe next year. But then I guess CS's loss is the forum's gain, depending on how many will be interested.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  4. momofmany

    momofmany Dayenu farms

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    colo-Dado! As my enthusiatic 4 yo calls it.
    I am on the way to the post office too :)

    Nicole
     
  5. duke3522

    duke3522 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    227
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    Will be in mail tomorrow.

    Duke
     
  6. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,232
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Hi Ken! I'll be sending mine on Friday, ok??
     
  7. Ken, I'll give it a try here in Oklahoma. I'm just a rock throw away from Missouri. Several people grow hickory king around here and I've been wanting to start growing it myself to make my own hominy. I think it would be interesting to have a old time strain of corn. I'll pm you with my address so you can go ahead and get the evelope ready to drop in the mail box and I'll send you my dollar right away.

    Also are you planning on mixing the seeds up that you get back and replant them the next year? If so I might have you save me some seeds from them to mix with my next years hickory cane.
     
  8. ibcnya

    ibcnya Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    437
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    South East Iowa
    I'll get down to the post office tomorrow Ken. I have a few different kinds of seeds from places all over the world(mostly peppers) that I have saved. Many coming from third world countries that I am saving for who knows what. Might as well save some more. These big genetic seed companies will twist this world's order like never before known someday.
     
  9. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    I just plan on taking the kernels off of the ears I dried and mixing them but before packaging. Ears range from small to fairly large (he had already harvested the best ears for this own use).

    He grew it as much for winter chicken feed as sweet corn. Said it seemed like his chickens preferred it over yellow and if mixed would pick out the white kernels first. Now I do believe chickens are reported to be color blind so....

    He said he remembers it from his early childhood and his folks had been growing it a long time before then. Thus, stain might go back to very early 1900s. No guarantee it is pure though.

    When I mentioned sharing, I meant from what you harvest from these seeds.

    Don't expect a consistent crop as he didn't work on stand improvement. I would encourage you to do so though.

    When you send me back seed from what you harvest I'll make this offer again next year. Hopefully there will be enough to provide it in large quantity.

    If you live in a colder weather area, you might want to start the seeds in pots. Be sure to protect them from raccoons, etc. as I don't know if he will even plant this year. Age is catching up with him quickly.

    Will mail out seeds about mid-March.

    Ken
     
  10. TnMtngirl

    TnMtngirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,336
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Location:
    upper east tn
    Sending my money tommorrow.mary
     
  11. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    19,807
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Ken, do you think it would stand a chance here in Northern Illinois/Southwest Wisconsin (zone 5a, 4b respectively)?


    Pony!
     
  12. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

    Messages:
    3,067
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Ken,

    If you think the corn would do well in central Florida I'd like to have some of the seed too. I'll put an envelope in the mail Monday morning.
     
  13. Little Bit Farm

    Little Bit Farm Active Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    HEY! Thanks for the corn Ken! I really appreciate it, and will try to isolate and plant it. To me the kernals look a lot wilder than even much of the heirloom corn I've seen. I recently saw a display in an article in The Heirloom Gardener, that exhibited some of the same traits. The corn in the display was all from South America, and were native type corns. Thanks also to Thumper who delivered my corn to me.


    Little Bit farm
     
  14. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    If you do a Google search on either hickory cane or white corn you will see there just isn't much information out there on it. From what little I can tell, it was most commonly grown in the mid-tier states of the Carolinas through MO & AR. I have no idea on how cold or hot tolerant it might be. I do know from personal observation of Mr. Bohanon's patch, it seems to stand up to dry weather very well.

    I ask him about where his parents acquired the seed. He said he thought the Native American Indians may have been growing it when the first settlers arrived in this area. The Bohanons are one of the oldest family lines in the area.

    As noted previously, I recommend you moist towel germinate the seed about a week or so before you plan to plant, plant the largest and plumpest in the middle of the patch and then keep seeds from the largest and best-formed ears. You will be planting for seed the first couple of years.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  15. GREEN_ALIEN

    GREEN_ALIEN Sunny, Wet, Tornadoey SD!

    Messages:
    436
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Location:
    South Dakota
  16. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    329
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    Location:
    Estillfork, Alabama
    Thanks Ken,

    The money is in the mail.
     
  17. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Yes, I still have about two gallons of seed. However, the offer may appear in the next issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal so requests need to be made before about the 10th of April. Forum members get three ounces. CS-ers will get two to spread it around.

    On Little Bit's comments about its appearance, I looked at Hickory King at the Co-op. Doesn't look much like it.

    Whatever, it is a strain with a bit of documentation it goes back at least around 100 or so years.

    I had contacted Seed Saver's Exchange about it and they showed absolutely no interest.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  18. GREEN_ALIEN

    GREEN_ALIEN Sunny, Wet, Tornadoey SD!

    Messages:
    436
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Headed to the post office. Thanks Ken.
     
  19. mojack

    mojack Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    Ken,

    We will be sending our $1.00 tommorrow.

    Thanks.
    Jack
     
  20. southernbelle32

    southernbelle32 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Location:
    N.E.Florida
    Ken I have an envelope already for the mail tomorrow!! Thanks a bunch. I didn't know if we could grow it here in Florida or not so I called Daddy and asked if he ever heard of the corn and before I could say corn he said "Hickory Cane Corn, oh Daddy used to grow it when I was a kid and it is good!!" So he answered my question if it would grow here in North Florida and if it was some good corn. :D

    Needless to say hubby is out plowing up an new spot away from our other small garden. We plant our one area with silver queen corn and surely don't want them to cross!!

    Thanks so much Ken!!!

    Sandy