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Traditional Iroquois Corn Its History, Cultivation, and Use 

NRAES 179

Traditional Iroquois Corn: Its History, Cultivation, and Use focuses on the traditional, open-pollinated Iroquois varieties of corn similar to the varieties that existed when European colonizers first landed in North America, and that are still cultivated today. Traditional Iroquois Corn is a concise book that explores the importance of corn to Iroquois and North American history and culture, serves as an introduction to planting corn, and provides methods for preparing delicious corn foods. The text is supplemented with 19 photos and illustrations that depict Iroquois corn in present and past contexts, and with a list of resources for further research.   

 

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Audience | Table of Contents | Expected Outcomes | Sample Pages   

 

Audience

- Anyone interested in Iroquois history and culture

- Educators

- Gardeners and farmers

- Cooks

- Haudenosaunee people

Table of Contents 

Introduction   

History of Iroquois Corn 

- The Beginnings of Corn: A Haudenosaunee Perspective 

- Corn Through Western Eyes 

- Corn at Contact 

- After the War 

- Corn and Its Influence on New York Agriculture

- Iroquois Corn in the Twentieth Century   

Botany of Corn         

- Corn Types 

- Open-Pollinated vs. Hybrid Corn 

- Maintaining “Pure” Varieties

- What Is a Variety? 

- Farmers as Corn Breeders

  Growing Corn 

- Differences Between Iroquois and Hybrid Corn 

- Finding Seed

- Field Selection 

- Fertility Management 

- Cropping System/Rotation

- Working the Ground

- Reduced Tillage and No-Till 

- Planting: How, When, and How Much? 

- Planting Equipment 

- Weed Control 

- Harvest 

- Ear Molds 

- Saving Seed Corn   

Eating Corn 

- Nixtamalization or Alkaline Cooking 

- Corn and Human Nutrition 

- Corn and Healthy Diets 

- Processing and Preparing Corn   

References and Sources of Information   

Expected Outcomes

- Appreciation of Iroquois culture and the significant of corn to Iroquois culture

- Increased connection to corn

- Understanding of how corn impacted history, and how traditional corn and farming has changed over time

- Knowledge of different types of corn and how corn is bred

- Basic command of how to plant corn

- Ability to prepare traditional, nutritious corn-based foods

- Desire to learn more about Iroquois history and culture

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