Glass Gem Corn Grinding Day

One of my wildest garden to table dreams came true.

We grew a package of Glass Gem corn from Native Seeds out of New Mexico – and the harvest was a kaleidoscope, a celebration of awe.

I posted ecstatically about this corn a while back in The First Magical Ear. But I am so happy to share again – the story of the origins of Glass Gem. “Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer living in Oklahoma had an uncanny knack for corn breeding. More specifically, he excelled at selecting and saving seed from those cobs that exhibited vivid, translucent colors. Exactly how long Barnes worked on Glass Gem—how many successive seasons he carefully chose, saved, and replanted these special seeds—is unknown. But after many years, his painstaking efforts created a wondrous corn cultivar that has now captivated thousands of people around the world.”

For me, it was an experience that seemed to draw back into time. Deep into history – a primal memory of corn. Sitting on the floor in December, after the ears had dried and the kernels hardened, it truly felt like I had done this before.

stripping the kernels
stripping the kernels

As the mound of kernels grew, I was thrilled.

Ready for grinding – I felt like a proud mama when the first cornmeal burst forth.

With the oven lit, batter stirred, cast iron muffin pans filled, we waited. And then tasted.

Glass Gem corn muffins
Glass Gem corn muffins

It was nutty, and rich – with a depth to the flavor that was unlike any cornbread I have tasted. Pure joy! And if you’re like me, enjoying growing your own food and making the most of your harvest, you understand.

Glass Gem Cornbread 

Makes about 15 muffins
Usually I will use half GF flour and half cornmeal in my cornbread – but for this batch, I wanted to taste the full pure flavor of the freshly ground Glass Gem Corn…

  • 2 c. finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthun gum (binder)
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 c. milk (I like unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together dry ingredients. Make well in center and add rest of ingredients. Stir until just blended. Pour into buttered muffin pans. Bake 20 to 24 minutes, until cornbread is lightly browned. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out.

And set out a “spirit plate” – with some bread and a blessing, if you wish. To find out more about this amazing heirloom corn, please visit



5 Comments Add yours

  1. how beautiful and delicious!!!! ❤

    1. Thank you Audrey – yes, this heirloom corn is a beautiful gift! I have a half gallon jar I need to grind for more cornmeal. Can’t wait to try Indian pudding, and polenta using it.

  2. Levi says:

    I am currently making my first attempt at growing glass gem corn any tips or suggestions for a good harvest? I live outside of Phoenix AZ.

    1. Hello Levi and thanks for stopping by Pachamama’s 🙂
      Corn is a very thirsty plant, and the glass gem corn followed that faithfully. We could almost SEE the corn growing after it was watered. Our small crop grew INCREDIBLY tall – we actually roped it off and supported it with wire fencing as the ears developed. Keeping it safe from marauding squirrels and raccoons if they live around you – in northern Colorado we had them to contend with. It was all worth it when the ears were ripe – our eyes were absolutely dazzled. Are you growing a lot? Best wishes on your crop!

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