From the Life Is an Adventure department, comes lessons in farming corn.

We love our Floriani Red Flint corn, we think it makes the very best polenta. So, when we started to ask farmers to grow it for us several years ago, we found that the Rominger Brothers were up for the adventure. Their first crop, about an acre and a half, yielded 2,300 lbs per acre, but we thought some modest adjustment could improve that yield. (Yellow dent ‘field corn’ can yield over 12,000 lbs per acre.)

But the next year, the yield dropped to 1,300 lbs per acre. This makes for some expensive, all-be-it delicious, corn polenta. But we’re in it for the long haul, so last September, a group of us from Oliveto went up to Winters, California, to our 5 acre crop of Italian red flint corn to hand pick some for seed selection before the harvester came in.

Fred Hemple, a PhD plant-biologist-turned-farmer has now joined us in the adventure. At his farm, Baia Nicchia Farm and Nursery, in Sunol, he’s taking on the job of cleaning up the genetic lines of our corn. Fred will be blogging periodically about his progress, and working with us to develop our crop in the coming years. We’ll be following along on our Journal as well. We’re expanding the Floriani polenta service in the café, from lunch to close. It’s frequently on the dinner menu upstairs also.