Filling the Farm’s Dance Card and Golden Bantam Corn

IMPROVED Golden Bantam Corn

Each season, we face the dilemma of which seed to produce and what has to wait for another year.  Our seed bank is full of interesting cultivars with mouthwatering names and great histories that we want to keep in (or restore to) commercial production.  We are growing over 350 cultivars on the farm this year, which is a staggering diversity for our little farm.  But, with roughly 25% of these grown for evaluation and another 15% just to add pictures to their descriptions, we wish we could do more.

For instance, we can only grow one type of sweet corn each year on account of the miles its tiny windborne pollen can travel.  We have a few trusted farmers we can ask to grow a specific cultivar for us, but when we are actively working to improve a variety we of course, have to produce it here.  This year we wrestled with the decision of whether to continue to refine a dramatically improved version of Golden Bantam, a sweet corn first introduced by W. Atlee Burpee in 1902 and still an industry standard, or to work on bringing another corn out of the seed bank and back on the market. While the work to be done is fresh in our minds, we chose to grow Golden Bantam again. We hope you’ll enjoy the results!