I Can't Think of a Corny Title for Corn...

But that's okay, we have all heard of corn before. Well, if you haven't, maybe you've heard of Maize which is how the rest of the world refers to "corn." 

Corn was likely domesticated in Mexico as early as 2500 BC by the Olmec and Maya. When Europeans came to the area, they took corn back to Europe to grow there. Corn is the most widely grown grain in the Americas since it grows so well in varied climates. It can be used for animal feed, for meal, kernels, oil, and fermentation into alcoholic beverages. I don't know about you, but I'm in it for the popcorn.

Corn can grow as high as 39 feet but typically tops out at 8 ft. The ears themselves grow at the rate of about 1/10 an inch per day to a total length of about 7 inches. Once fully grown, the ears are either picked by hand or, on larger farms, harvested by machinery like that below.

Activities

The best thing you could ever do with corn is make kettle corn! Here's a great recipe. If you're feeling particularly ambitious, you can try drying your own corn and then pop it. Apparently you shouldn't use the sweet corn "on the cob" we usually get at the supermarket. Get creative. You might do well to visit a local farm stand to find the right variety. On iowacorn.org (yes, I wrote iowacorn.org), there are some nice coloring pages with fun facts on corn. Have fun!

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