Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mutant Orange and Indian Corn

I found this pic on my phone the other day. I was having a Cara Cara Navel orange for lunch.

The typical Cara Cara has reddish-pink flesh, and is more tart than a standard navel. Here it looks like some of the segments got fertilized by some standard navel pollen. Is that how it works with citrus?

That's how corn works -- each kernel is pollinated individually -- so if you have different varieties planted too close to each other, they cross up but you get all different colors. Here's a pic of some corn in Belize from my diss work. This was all planted as white corn, but the farmer's son had planted a small patch of "black" corn about 50 yards away. He had it picked up in the north just to see what it would do. Their black corn is similar to what folks in the US call blue corn.

Really beautiful, but since my friends save the seed to plant the next crop, they tend to separate the white corn out for that purpose.

Also, most folks won't buy any corn but white corn, so they won't be able to sell the red/blue/black corn in the village if there's an opportunity to do so.


  1. I love organic blue corn chips. And purple potatoes but what I really want to grow this year is watermelon radish.

    You garden?

  2. I gardened maniacally in California (ripped up my whole backyard by hand), but during grad school in Oregon and post-doc in PA not so much. I just got some tomatoes I'm going to grow in containers here, and even if it all goes to Bollocks-Town, I figure I can make pickled green tomatoes and green tomato chutney a la the Joy Of Cooking. Hard core! But I did grow radishes a couple of years, pretty forgiving if you're willing to forgive the imperfections. Is there much difference between a watermelon radish and a radish watermelon?

  3. Can I use two of your images in my final class project? Of course, i will credit you. Can I also email you about understanding the images correctly? Thank you.