In Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, I wrote about cross-pollination and the threat of genetically modified organisms.
If our sweet corn is cross-pollinated by neighboring field corn, it is not sweet nor is it marketable. Martin manages this threat by recording the dates of all the developmental stages for our crop, as well as the neighbors’ planting and pollen dates. He then adjusts his varieties and planting sequence by what the neighbors plant and when. But genetic contamination is impossible to avoid completely. When there are field corn–pollinated kernels in our sweet corn, they are visible; dark yellow kernels mixed in like polka dots among the small, tender sweet corn kernels. But now there is an even larger challenge and looming threat. [Read more…]