This rare, 8 row flint corn was grown by the Micmac Tribe of the Canadian Maritimes, and along the North Atlantic Shores. Fields of this corn variety were observed by the French explorer, Jacques Cartier in 1534. Named after the Gaspe peninsula of Quebec. The plants are very short, reaching a height of 2 – 2 1/2 foot. I have seen it listed as early maturing in 40-60 days. Mine was harvested as a dry field corn in 70 days. It started to tassle in 30 days after direct seeding. Silks started to form in 38 days! This is still extremely early. The cobs are small, measuring only 3-4″ long.
My initial interest in this variety, was my search to find extremely, early maturing field corn varieties, which would pollinate long before any neighboring, conventional corn goes to tassel. This would help to ensure that there is no chance of genetic contamination from GMO’s or modern hybrids. While Gaspe is not high yielding, it does meet this requirement. I also believe Gaspe offers great potential for future breeding as well.
One final point. I found my strain of Gaspe to have some susceptibility to corn smut. Keep in mind that this crop was grown during one of the wettest seasons (spring and early summer of 2015) I have ever encountered. This is possibly, in part, due to the fact that the ears form but a few inches off the ground. This also makes them easy prey for squirrels and other critters.
- Gaspe Corn
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