I’ve planted a lot of random things in our garden during the four short years we’ve been living here. I’m not just talking about the twelve varieties of carrots (in four different colors!) either. I’m talking about things like quinoa, poppies (for the seed), and strawberry spinach.

Some experiments have worked out. The White Satin carrots are now among my favorite, and the strawberry spinach, although it didn’t exactly flourish, was very tasty. Others experiments have either failed to grow (like the poppies) or failed to make me want to grow them (like the pepperoncini).

But one of our best experiments has been the popcorn. Before we tried it, I never would have believed that the variety of popcorn you pop would make a difference. It does, though — there’s a nutty richness to the Early Pink popcorn that we grow which really set it apart from what we get at the store. It does take up a bit of room, and I learned the hard way this year that it shouldn’t be planted too close to our sweet corn. But I love harvesting it; it’s one of the last things from our summer garden, having dried on the stalks before I take it off. The kernels are hard, with a lovely rose blush. We store the ears for a while, testing them every once in a while to see if they’ve reached the right stage for popping. And then we have the pleasure of being able to pop our own home-grown popcorn.


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