Thought to be extinct for decades, this corn was rediscovered in Inman, SC by Sow True Seed’s GM, Angie Lavezzo. After some historical digging and verification by Food Historian Dr. David Shields, we are very proud to be reintroducing this long lost variety to the public for the first time since 1951.
This corn was stewarded by Mr. Manning Farmer on his land in the Dark Corner area of South Carolina for for most of his 96 years. First grown by his uncle and father, Mr. Farmer has been growing and keeping this seed pure since the 40's and we are very grateful to him for it.
Cockes Prolific was developed by John Hartwell Cockes, one of Thomas Jefferson’s head gardeners at Monticello in the first half of the 1800’s. We are unsure why this variety fell off the radar, but it was once one of the most cultivated corns in the South because of its reliably high yields and excellent flavor. We hope you will join us in bringing this corn back into the spotlight it deserves to be in. Produces at least two good sized ears of heavy, white kernaled corn, perfect for cornmeal and hominy.
Voted onto the Slow Foods Arc of Taste for 2019!
One of the oldest types of cultivated corn, it is so named for the dent in the middle of each kernel, formed when the soft starch dries. Excellent dried for milling, especially as grits, or to curry favor with a chicken flock. Dent corn is also edible when young and fresh, although not as sweet as more common sweet corn varieties. To harvest, let ears dry on stalk and pick after a light frost if possible. Store in mouse proof containers for the winter. ~section~
|Average Seed / oz||Seed / 100' Row||Average Yield / 100' Row||Days to Harvest|
|90||4 oz||200 ears||110|
|Planting Season||Ideal Soil Temp||Sun||Frost Tolerance|
|After Last Frost||65-85°F||Full Sun||Frost Sensitive|
|Sowing Method||Seed Depth||Direct Seed Spacing||Seeds Per Packet|
|Mature Spacing||Days to Sprout||Production Cycle||Seed Viability|
Corn is a frost sensitive annual that prefers full sun and is tolerant of a wide variety of soils. Corn is a heavy nitrogen feeder, so planting in beds which previously contained nitrogen-fixing crops such as beans, peas, etc. can give plants a boost.
Corn does not transplant well, so direct-seed outdoors once the danger of frost has passed and soil temperatures have warmed to 60˚ F. Plant seeds ½-1" deep and 2-3" apart in rows 18-24"apart. Thin seedlings so that mature plants are 3" apart. The rule of thumb is to grow at least four 10' rows to assist its pollination by wind.
To extend your harvest, sow an early-maturing type every 2 weeks for 6 weeks, or plant early, mid-season, and late types at the same time. Corn is traditionally planted with bean and winter squash, a trio known as the 3 sisters.
For sweet corn, harvest when kernels have filled in and contain milk. To check ripeness, peel back husk and pierce a kernel to see evidence of the milky liquid. For dent and popcorn, allow to dry on stalk and harvest around 1st frost.
Corn is monoecious plant, meaning it has separate male (tassel) and female (ears)parts on each plant. Select the earliest and fullest cobs on each plant for seed saving. If you are unsure if how much space is between you and your next possible corn growing neighbor, cover the tassel and ears with bags to protect from cross-pollination. Allow the ears to develop and dry out on the stalk for as long as possible. When ready to dry, pull back the husks and place in a rodent-proof area. Once fully dried, carefully break off the seeds and store in a cool, dry place.