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Victory Heirloom Seed Company - Preserving the future, one seed at a time!

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Home>Vegetable Seeds>Corn
Petmecky Corn
The diversity of 'Petmecky' corn.
Petmecky Corn
Item Id: 3140321 review

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A 2017 Victory Seed Company release.
Another example of our core mission in action.

95 days — 'Petmecky' is an old grain corn that was raised for sustenance. Although it can be harvested young and eaten as roasting ears, it is generally allowed to mature on the stalks, dry down, and then after harvest, stored and ground to make flour and meal. In more recent times, the family sold it locally for its ornamental value as decorations.

Its stalks are sturdy, can grow quite tall, and produces ears that are eight inches long with sixteen to eighteen rows of kernels with varying colors.

'Petmecky' corn is another example of the Victory Seed Company's core preservation mission in action and illustrates how it can sometimes take years to get varieties into circulation. Back in 2005, we were contacted by a gentleman from Fredericksburg, Texas named C. B. "Hoppy" Hopkins. He told us a sad, yet all too familiar story. He wrote:
"German settlers came to Fredericksburg, Texas in 1846. Shawnee, Delaware and Cherokee were living in close proximity to Fredericksburg. In 1847 the settlers negotiated a treaty with the Comanche that remains unbroken [to this day].

[Petmecky] Family oral tradition describes that the family were given the seeds by the Indians. (Whether it was from the Delaware that were there, or from the Comanche is not clear.)

The family has planted a large block of it every year since ... until now. The last family member in residence died, there are no heirs interested in farming the 'old home place,' and the place is up for sale. The last crop he planted was left standing in the field.

I picked some to save from the bugs/deer, and now what? Would you like to have it? It is a multi-colored 'Indian corn.' This is probably all that remains of the 'Petmecky corn legacy.' I just hate to see it lost to time.
After failing to find any interest from museums and universities, he found us and we accepted the challenge of trying to save this family heirloom with even deeper roots.

The challenge for us is that the growing season in the Northern Willamette Valley of Oregon is different from that of Fredericksburg. The length of our growing season is adequate and we get some pretty hot days. Many corn varieties do well here but 'Petmecky' just grew and grew like there was no tomorrow. As you can see in the picture with our youngest daughter, the stalks reached over twelve feet in height and didn't finally decide to tassel until September.

Needless to say, we did not want to waste any more of this precious seed so it was carefully packed up and stored in a freezer until we found a competent and trusted grower, in a climate zone closer to Texas. Our friend, fellow farmer and seed preservationist, David Pendergrass in Middle Tennessee took on the task of trialing and growing 'Petmecky' out for us.

It grew beautifully there and with David's help, we are able to introduce 'Petmecky' corn, for the first time, to gardeners outside of the Petmecky family and outside of the Fredericksburg area. Each ounce contains approximately 85 seeds.

Customer Reviews Average Rating review
So pretty, I didn't want to grind them up for corn flour!
I started my Petmecky corn seed in five inch pots in mid-March of 2017. I transferred the one foot-tall plants to my garden at the end of April and let her rip! They grew great all summer and the ears were ready to pick at the first of September. They were so pretty, I didn't want to grind them up for corn flour. I have let them dry all winter hanging in my greenhouse (away from rats). At the same time I grew other varieties of beautiful original colored corn which also hang in my greenhouse. This summer of 2018 I will shell all of my corn. You can bet I will be keeping a quart canning jar full of Petmecky corn seed in my refrigerator for the future. This summer I will be in the process of crossing Petmecky with my other native corn varieties. The ears will be like Christmas packages. Don't know what I'll get, but it's bound to be beautiful! I highly recommend Petmecky corn seed. Just be aware considering that after my sprouting of the seed in March it took five and one half months to mature the ears with at least six hours of sunlight everyday.
Reviewed by: Neil Ivie from Roseburg, Oregon. on 3/21/2018
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