We were thrilled to add this important Native American corn to our collection in 2018 as it was once praised by old-time Philadelphia chefs as one of the finest flour corns in the kitchen. It is also historically important since the Oneida Nation was allied with the American side during the Revolutionary War. As the story is recounted, when George Washington’s troops were starving in their encampment at Valley Forge, the Oneidas (thanks to Oneida Chief Shenendoah, a.k.a.Oskanondohna) sent this corn to the troops and Oneida matriarchs taught the soldiers how to prepare it and cook it properly to nourish their hunger-stricken and nutritionally-deprived bodies. In this way, among many others, Native Americans helped us win the Revolution. It is quite sad however that after this aid the Oneida Nation gave Washington with their sacred corn, the Oneida and other nearby nations were wrongfully repaid by General Sullivan ransacking and burning native villages, destroying corn fields and gardens, and stealing other corns from them (a part of history that is not necessarily ever told). We want to celebrate Oneida culture and reintroduce this patriotic culinary corn so that it is on menus all over the country. This flour corn has 8 rows of beautiful soft white kernels on ears that average about 6 to 8 inches long with 2 ears per stalk and 2-4 tillers. Stalks average around 7-8 feet tall and are 90-100 day maturity for us in Pennsylvania. There may be some natural pink blushed or solid pink kernels when you grow this. This perfectly natural! No contamination, as this is a jumping gene based anomaly that the corn uses to increase diversity when it feels stressed.
This flour corn, alongside the white flint of Oneida Nation, seem to both have been brought to George Washington. The corn originally traces to the Oneida homelands around New York State when they left in the 1820s for Wisconsin, where they brought the corn with them. It is grown today on tribal lands in upstate New York; at the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, near Green Bay; and at the Oneida Nation of the Thames, Ontario, Canada. Both corns are very high in protein, 18% !From harvest to cooking, white corn is treated with great respect by the Oneida. During the fall harvest in October, the mature ears are picked and husked by hand and braided together before being hung to dry. When dried, the kernels are carefully removed and stored in bins until needed. The kernels are cooked with water and hardwood ash until they puff up and their tough outer skin loosens. After being thoroughly rinsed and picked over, the corn is made into canned corn soup or vacuum-sealed and sold as fresh hulled white corn for cooks who prefer to make their own soup. For cornbread, the kernels are dehydrated and ground into flour. Oneida cornbread is really more like a large unfilled tamale or firm polenta. To further boost the nutritional value of the bread, Oneida cooks mix cooked beans into their loaves.
Hand pollinated for purity. 50 seed per pack. LIMIT 2 PACKS PER CUSTOMER. VERY LIMITED IN AVAILABILITY!
(If you are of Native heritage and want to grow this variety, please contact us to recieve this and any other Native variety for free under our Roughwood Indigenous Peoples Program.)
SKU: SEED- ONEIDA CORN