Highlighting the development and growth of a 3,000 sq. ft. rooftop production garden in the Historic Walker's Point neighborhood of Milwaukee, WI, this blog offers tools and resources on sustainable urban agriculture. We welcome questions, comments and suggestions as we embark on the largest rooftop production garden in the Cream City.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Blue Corn: from seed to table
This past summer we planted blue corn on CORE/El Centro’s rooftop.
We used a traditional method of interplanting it with beans and squash known as the Three Sisters
Garden. The Corn gives a stalk for the bean to grow while the beans replenish
the soil with nitrogen for the corn. The corn also gives sufficient shade for
the squash to grow.
The Blue Corn we received from Seeds of Change came
from the Hopi tribe, located in Arizona.
The Blue corn, to the Hopi Tribe, is sacred. The corn, is not just food but a symbol of life and tradition. The belief
is that corn was given to them from their gods. For this reason, they perform
ceremonies to honor their gods and pray for longevity for their way of life. The
corn is used in different religious ceremonies, traditions and everyday
activities. One traditional use for the blue corn is in wedding. It is
customary for Hopi women to make Piki bread from several pounds of
blue corn to the spouse’s family before the wedding. For the Hopi,
learning traditional recipes is a blessing from mother to daughter.
Ready to grind Corn
Hand grind to produce dough.
We decided to use the Blue corn to make tortillas. To start
we had to leave the ear of corn on the stalk until it dried out. After harvesting
the ear of corn, we continued to let it sit for significant amount of time until we were certain it was completely dry. Afterwards, we had to boil the kernels for 2 to 3 hours until the
We then took the kernels from and mashed them with a grinder
until it was dough-like.
Then there were to ways to make the shape of the
The first is to do it mechanically with a tortilla press. The other
is to do it manually. Afterwards we would heat the tortilla and enjoy!
Add salsa and enjoy!
Tortilla press for convenient
and uniform tortillas