Corn, also called maize, is native to Mexico, where it was first grown by the indigenous people about 10,000 years ago. The United States now produces 40% of the worlds corn.
Varieties: sweet corn, dent corn, popcorn, feed corn
Related: wheat, quinoa, rice
Harvest season in the LV: July through mid-October
Growing conditions: cool soil, planted two weeks after the last spring frost date
Pollination: will pollinate from the wind
Cooking/Preparation required: can be eaten by the cob, added to salads, processed and uses in food items like cereals, potato chips, soups, cooking oil, margarine, mayonnaise
Fertilizers or pesticides: with good growing conditions, no fertilizers or pesticides are needed; corn is on the “Clean Fifteen” list (veggies to make use of because of their low pesticide load)—but some sweet corn may be genetically modified; to avoid GMO, look for organic corn.
Health considerations: high in vitamin A, thiamin, and vitamin B6; helps protect from cancer and heart disease.
Nutrient content can vary greatly depending on soil conditions, with organic methods and a soil rich in organic matter generally producing the best results.
‘Dirty Dozen’ or ‘Clean Fifteen’ lists do not necessarily apply to produce grown on local farms — you need to check with the farmer to determine if and when any fertilizers or pesticides were applied.