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Saving Corn Seed: 5 Things You Must Do

Saving Corn Seed: 5 Things You Must Do

  1. Grow a minimum of 200 corn plants together to maintain genetic diversity
  2. Choose the best 100 cobs from the 200 plants you grow
  3. Cut off the top and bottom of these cobs
  4. Take the seed off the middle parts of these cobs which is left
  5. Mix all your saved corn kernels together well – plant next spring

Use all leftover corn to make tortillas, posole etc. or use for chicken food

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Top Tip!

When selecting your best corn cobs
watch for: Patchy coloration or not growing true to the variety, unformed corn kernals at the top of cobs and dents in kernals.


Seed saving used to be one of the most important jobs there was – our ancestors survived because they saved the seeds that could be depended on to nourish people. Over the past 60 years we’ve left seed saving to the multinationals whose Kaupapa is to return money to their shareholders – rather than one of nourishing people. 60 years of saving seed to make maximum profits has changed our seeds and I believe changed their ability to nourish us.

When you breed a seed for production for many generations, you change the nutritional make up of that cultivar and invitably make them less nourishing to us humans. It is now known that in hybrid seeds there are enzyme blockers which prevent the plants grown from that seed from picking up key minerals eg. manganese, which is key for the health and reproduction of all living things!

This is just a small insight into why we believe it’s important that gardeners who wish to save seed also have the knowledge on how to do it in a way that maintains genetic diversity.

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