I love popcorn! It's my very favorite homegrown snack!
I grow two varieties of heirloom popcorn, "Strawberry" and "Japanese Hulless." Both varieties pop up into these delightful little white puffs that are so tender they practically melt in your mouth when you eat them.I've grown these two varieties together for years and I've never had any sort of cross breeding or mutations. I shell them together, store them together, and pop them together. They are both delicious and I can't tell which variety is which when I'm stuffing the popped kernels into my mouth... all I know is that this is good food... really good food.
Popcorn is easy to grow. If you grow heirloom varieties just save some of your popcorn kernels to use for seed the following year. Let them grow to maturity and then leave them there in the garden, drying on the stalks, until late fall.I took this picture earlier in the fall, long before it was dry enough to harvest. This popcorn stayed in the garden much longer, until the stalks were completely brown.
When they were finally ready to harvest I picked them, pulling the husks and silks off the cobs as I tossed them into bushel baskets. Then I put the baskets in a dry location for a few weeks.Then I used my hands to remove the kernels from the cobs.
Doing this is hard on your hands. It hurts. But thinking about how good the popcorn will taste gets me through it! (I've tried putting popcorn through a corn sheller but popcorn cobs are too small for the sheller to be very effective.)One bushel basketful of popcorn cobs will yield about eight quarts of popcorn kernels. Store dried kernels in airtight containers.To pop popcorn, heat some oil in a large pot (I usually use peanut oil for popping corn). Add popcorn kernels. Place the lid on the pot, but not tightly, let a little air escape. Shake the pot a bit. Eventually you will hear one pop, two pops, then lots of pops... and then you'll hear when the popping slows. I like to shake the pot some more as the popping slows. Eventually the popping stops. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and enjoy!