Beautiful Corn: America's Original Grain from Seed to Plate

Overview

Cultivated from sea level to mountaintop, from parched deserts to sodden rain forests, from the rocky Gaspé Peninsula to the plains of Argentina, corn is the grain of the Americas. In terms of culinary uses, it is amazingly diverse, reflecting the breathtaking variety of the continents and environments from which it evolved. The consummate immigrant, corn is grown extensively on every continent except Antarctica.

Market farmer and naturalist Anthony Boutard weaves together this ...

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Beautiful Corn: America's Original Grain from Seed to Plate

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Overview

Cultivated from sea level to mountaintop, from parched deserts to sodden rain forests, from the rocky Gaspé Peninsula to the plains of Argentina, corn is the grain of the Americas. In terms of culinary uses, it is amazingly diverse, reflecting the breathtaking variety of the continents and environments from which it evolved. The consummate immigrant, corn is grown extensively on every continent except Antarctica.

Market farmer and naturalist Anthony Boutard weaves together this unique plant's contribution to our culture, its distinctive biology, and the practical information needed to grow and enjoy it at home. Beautiful Corn advocates a return to the nourishing whole grain that built America, in place of today's genetically modified crops processed by industrial agriculture into synthetic sweeteners and cheap meat. Come along on this lyrical and inspiring journey through the seasons, learning about growing and using corn in the traditional way.

Gardeners and market farmers can lead the way to a healthier country by restoring heritage corn varieties to our tables. An unabashed celebration of a much-maligned culinary treasure, Beautiful Corn will forever change the way you view this remarkable plant.

Anthony Boutard is a widely recognized advocate in the local food movement, well-known for his efforts in reviving long-lost crops and bringing little-known varieties to market. He and his wife Carol own Ayers Creek Farm, a 144-acre organic market farm in Gaston, Oregon, specializing in berries, beans, grains, and greens for sale to local restaurants and markets.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Beautiful Corn is a great read! In this lyrical love letter to an ancient, fascinating food, Anthony Boutard offers us a rich harvest of history, a primer on growing the best varieties, the close observations of a brilliant, insatiably curious farmer, and some tasty recipes to boot.
—Lorna Sass, author of the James Beard Award winning Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way

Part love song to an ancient grain, part elevated instruction on how to grow, cook and consume it, part history and animated story, Beautiful Corn opens our eyes to a food plant that humans have both cultivated and been cultivated by. Anthony Boutard’s book is as nourishing as the corn he so wonderfully describes.
—Michael Ableman, farmer, author of From The Good Earth, On Good Land, and Fields Of Plenty

Anthony Boutard tells a story of corn we haven't heard—not as fuel, or livestock feed, or food product—but as whole food, with the flavor and diversity that comes with thoughtful farming. Part history, part how-to manual (Boutard grows, grinds and cooks corn in all its variations), Beautiful Corn returns the culture, and the cuisine, to our most abundant and mistreated crop. —Dan Barber, Chef / Co-Owner, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Never has there been such a book that covers corn so completely and in such an ecologically sound way. From the historical origins and uses by the early domesticators to the modern methods of mass production agriculture this book shows the reader the proper way to grow, harvest and use corn in an environmentally friendly way. Anthony shows us how the entire process can be ecologically friendly and help contribute to a happier healthier world for all. —Glenn and Linda Drowns, Sand Hill Preservation Center

Corn is a great gift to the world from the Americas. This essential grain, once enormous in variety, can be magical, dangerous, delicious, and life-giving. Anthony Boutard’s elegant clean prose guides us through its story – from history to science to politics to recipe to cultivation. Beautiful Corn is a beautiful book.—Brian Brett, author of Trauma Farm

Anthony Boutard did a wonderful job, he was able to tell the “real” history of corn, including all the different species and uses of this precious crop. This is definitely the book that was missing in my personal collection about the typical products.—Aurelio Barattini, Food Of Tuscan Farmers blog, chef, teacher and restauranteur

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865717282
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 966,143
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Anthony Boutard is a widely recognized local, sustainable food advocate in the Pacific Northwest well-known for his efforts in reviving long-lost food crops and bringing little-known varieties to market. He and his wife Carol own Ayers Creek Farm, a 144-acre organic market farm in Gaston, Oregon specializing in berries, beans, grains and greens. Trained as a forester and naturalist, he brings to farming a forester's patience and a naturalist's appreciation for the other organisms that thrive on the land. Born and raised in New England where fresh corn on the cob is essential to summer life, Anthony has, on occasion, felt the deep emptiness of living in a place where he couldn't grow corn.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Falling for corn ix

1 The Origins of Corn 1

2 Corn Emigrates 7

3 The Kernel, Corns Fruit 17

4 Spring Planning and Choosing Seed 27

5 Corn is Food from Flower to Flour 41

6 Popcorn and Flint Corn 53

7 Dent Corn and Flour Corn 69

8 Breaking Ground 77

9 Growth of the Corn Plant 91

10 Flowering of the Corn Plant 105

11 The Cornfield 115

12 Harvest and Storage 125

13 Preparing Grain Corn for Cooking 137

14 Onto the Plate 153

15 Producing Your Own Corn Seed 171

16 Soon the Snow Flies 183

Epilogue: Back to Work 191

Appendix 1 Seed Sources 193

Appendix 2 Equipment Sources 195

Bibliography 197

Index 203

About the Author 209

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