Flint corn from the Wild Miller Gardens will be ground into corn meal at the Newmarket Farmers' Market this Saturday, September 25th using an antique corn sheller from the Newmarket Historical Society. This history laden corn meal will be offered to market goers freshly ground and ready for cooking.
Flint corn is zea mays indurata known as Indian corn or calico corn and the same species of maize. This corn is as hard as flint because each kernel has a hard outer layer to protect the soft endosperm. Flint corn has a low water content so it is more resistant to freezing than other vegetables.
Native Americans in New England and in the Great Plains cultivated this hardy corn. Flint corn was the only Vermont crop to survive the infamous Year Without a Summer in 1816 when snow fell in June and killing frosts descended throughout the summer months. New Englanders and specifically Newmarket Farmers' Market patrons can now appreciate this hardy corn in such savory concoctions as Corn Pancakes a la Floriani and Creamy Polenta.
Joel Miller will use the antique sheller to shell the corn he grew on his farm and produce corn meal on demand at the market from 9 to 1. He and his wife Annalisa are staples of the market and the first vendor to populate the roster of the market. They are sought after for their knowledge, amiability and fresh produce, garlic and pork.