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Medical Edibles, High Nutritional Food & Heirloom Seed > Hopi, Blue Corn
Hopi, Blue Corn

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Soil & Water: Corn is a heavy feeder requiring high amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). Its weak and shallow root system likes loose soil with a high compost content.

Planting & Growing: Sow seeds directly outdoors 1 week after the last frost. You can start earlier by using black or green plastic mulches and floating row covers to obtain optimum conditions. Plant in blocks rather than rows to ensure good germination. To prevent cross-pollination, plant different varieties at least 40' apart and grow a hedge barrier, such as sunflowers, in between.

Harvesting & Storage: For sweet corn, harvest when part of the silk is brown. For dry corn, harvest when husks are completely dry. To finish the drying process, husk the ears and spread them in a dry, well-ventilated area. Store kernels on the cob, or shuck and store kernels.

Did You Know? Corn is rich in protein and contains many minerals.

Sun/Shade: Full sun, Planting Depth: 1", Spacing After Thinning: 8", Soil Temperature: 70—85°F, Days To Germinate: 4—12, Days To Maturity: 90, Height At Maturity: 5'

Blue corn or maize (Zea mays L.) is an open pollinated flour corn and contains soft starch useful in the milling of specialty foods. Currently, these foods include tortillas, pancake mixes, cornbread mixes, corn chips, and cereal.

Blue Corn: Found primarily in the Southwest, blue corn has been a staple food of Native Americans - including the Hopi, Pueblo, Navajo & Zuni tribes - for hundreds of years. Coronado found blue corn & other flour corns during his 1540 expedition into the Southwest.
Blue flour corn, made of primarily soft starches, is used for blue corn flour & cornmeal, and for making blue corn tortillas and blue corn chips. It’s a bit coarser than yellow or white meal, but is somewhat sweeter & nuttier in flavor. It also contains about 20% more protein & up to 50% more iron than other varieties of corn.

Blue Corn & Hopi Indians: Hopi blue corn varieties can range in color from nearly black to a powdery gray color. There are three varieties of the blue corn: "standard" blue (sakwaqa'o), hard blue (huruskwapu), and gray-blue (maasiqa'o). Because of its hard kernels, huruskwapu is most resistant to storage pests and traditionally was the preferred variety for storing. When the grinding was all done by hand, women preferred using maasiqa'o because it is soft and easier to grind but the color was not as vibrant as that of the sakwaqa'o or huruskwapu.

Besides being the backbone of their diet, blue corn represents an essential part of the Hopi culture. It represents the Eastern rising sun, the beginning of life, wisdom & understanding. The Hopi of Arizona use blue corn in the naming ceremonies of infants, who might not receive their name for 6-to-8 months. They believe that blue corn represents a long life; Hopi men ate blue corn before undertaking long journeys because they believe it gives them great strength. To this day, the Hopi believe in the power of blue corn, as demonstrated by their story of creation.


Maize, has been closely associated with the culture and life of the Southwestern American Indian. This paper focuses on a maize of the Hopi Indian, one of the most adaptive of the American Indian tribes. Their culture has been predominantly agricultural throughout their long history in the arid southwest and they have established a reputation as superior dryland farmers (Carter and Anderson 1945). The conservation of their farms is reflected in their crop plants--most notably in their maize. Maize is utilized in ritual as well as a food source. The use of maize in the rituals appears to have preserved these ancient cultivars. Foreign cultures have impacted the Hopi just as they have other cultures in this region. Many of the cultivars of maize grown a century ago by the Hopi are now believed to be extinct while others show an introgression of genes from other maize populations. The number of blue corn races is unknown at this time.

25 seeds