How to Grow Hominy Yourself

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Corn has a long history in the Americas. It is a warm season annual herb that produces flowers that become the ears we know from summer barbecues. Corn, pozole, maize, and many other names have been given to the vegetable. It is ground, roasted, dried, steamed and cooked in almost any way you can imagine. Hominy is the result of a process that removes the skin from the individual pieces of corn. The hominy is the softer flesh under the skin and is used canned or as a cereal. Zea Mays is the traditional variety of corn that is made into hominy and cornmeal.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Hose
  • Sprinkler
  • Zea mays seeds
  • Manure
  • Pruners
  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • 2 quart water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon lime
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • Large stock pot
  • Slotted spoon
  • Strainer

Growing the Corn

  • Till a field or bed two weeks before the date of the last frost. Mix in 5 to 7 inches of compost to a depth of 12 inches and then rake the bed to remove weeds, rocks and roots.

  • Sow the corn seed two weeks after the date of the last frost when soils have warmed to approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Set a sprinkler on the bed prior to planting for 15 to 20 minutes to add deep moisture to the bed.

  • Plant the seed just deep enough to cover lightly with soil. You can arrange the seeds in clumps or rows. Plants that grow in clumps can self support the 6-foot-tall stalks. Plant more seeds than you want plants so you can ensure that at least some germinate. You can thin them later. Sow closely, within 2 inches of each other.

  • Keep the bed evenly moist in the top 4 inches until germination occurs. Thin the plants in two weeks to a spacing of 12 inches. Provide 1 inch of water per week spread out over several days. Irrigate from the bottom to prevent mold on the leaves. Keep the bed weed free so there are no competitors for nutrients and moisture.

  • Spread manure around the plants when they are 12 inches tall. Reserve an inch around the stems that is free of manure to prevent rot. Harvest 90 days after seeding.

Making Hominy

  • Remove the leaves from the corn ears and wash them. Cut off the corn and put it in a bowl. Put a large pot with 2 quarts of water on to boil. Add 2 1/2 tbsp. of slaked lime.

  • Pour in the corn and add 3 tsp. of salt. Let the corn simmer for several hours or until the skins slip off easily. The water will be dotted with them. Remove the pot from heat.

  • Use a slotted spoon to skim off the skins that float on the surface of the water. Pour the mixture into a colander to separate the rest of the skins. Rinse the remaining corn flesh well. The hominy is ready to use.

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References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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