Meet The Colorful And Glassy Corn That Became An Internet Sensation


Called Gem Glass corn, this corn became an Internet sensation in 2012 when a colorful picture was posted on Facebook. Some say that it was all Photoshop trick, while others argued that genetics was the real responsible for the range of colors. Shortly thereafter, an Arizona company called Native Seeds, which sells rare seeds, began to increase its production to meet the high demand that began to emerge. Currently, the seeds can still be found in the online store of the brand.

Despite its special aappearance, the story behind the Gem Glass corn was not very highlighted in 2012, when the different corn began to draw international attention. It began with a farmer named Carl Barnes, now in his 80s, who left his hometown in Oklahoma to explore the new native roots of America. He began cultivating a variety of corns as a way to reconnect with hisheritage. Among these varieties of seeds, it was possible to identify and isolate the most ancient types, spread from Native American tribes that were relocated from what is now Oklahoma, in 1800.


At the same time, Barnes began to select, save and replant the seeds of some particularly colorful spikes. Over the time, this action resulted in a rainbow corn. After this, a farmer known to him, Greg Schoen met with Barnes in 1994 in order to know better about the new corn. Both became friends and, over the years, Schoen received increasingly rainbow corn seed samples.

When did it become comercial? 

In 2005, Schoen began producing colored corn in large quantities near Santa Fe, New Mexico, along with other more traditional varieties. However, when mixed together, eventually gave rise to new strains. And each successive year of planting, corns were produced with more vibrant colors and more vivid patterns. In 2009, several varieties of seeds were passed to a seed company in Arizona, called Seed Trust, owned by an executive named Bill McDorman, now CEO of Native Seeds, which sells the seeds of Glass Gem online.

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