Against the odds…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the odds… an image of something that defies the odds.

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Cobbs of corn might seem an unlikely candidate for something that continues to survive against the odds. None the less, these cobbs of corn are just that.

Why? Because they are what we call traditional or heritage varieties, types of corn that continue the genetic diversity of varieties spanning corn’s six thousand years of existence. Six thousand years? Yes. That around when indigenous people in Central America first selectively bred what became the corn we know today, with its big, juicy cobb and grain, from a wild grass around one centimeter long.

Modern corn has been selected for its yellow colouration, size and taste, and in comparison to these traditional varieties it displays a limited gene set. The colour vartiety in the cobbs in the photo display the genetic diveresity ot traditional corn varieties.

It is because of the dominance of modern corn that these tarditional varieties defy the odds and continue to survive. Now, gardeners are cultivating these traditional varieties so that thay can continue their own evolution.

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