The earliest evidence of corn tasseling is from the Neolithic period (around 10,000 BC). This was a time when humans were still hunter gatherers and had not yet developed agriculture. There are many theories about why early farmers began using tassels to decorate their grain ears. Some believe that tassels were used to mark the location of where each ear was harvested. Others think they were used to indicate which plants grew best together. Still others believe tassels symbolized fertility or some other meaning. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that tasseled grains became popular among early farmers because they made harvesting easier and provided visual clues about which crops grew well with one another.
Corn tasseling was very successful at helping farmers identify their crops. However, it did have its drawbacks. First, tassels could become tangled if left too long.
Second, tassels tended to fall off during harvest season and were difficult to reattach once the crop was picked. Third, corn tasseling was expensive since it required specialized tools such as knives and scissors. For these reasons, other types of tassels appeared on the market, though less common than corn tassels.
Grains like wheat and barley continued to use tassels, but without the decorative parts (leaves and unripe seed heads). Instead, they simply used dried or silk parts. These were much cheaper to produce and were perfect for identifying individual crops.
It also allowed farmers to store them for years when not in use. Thanks to these advances, tassels continue to play an important role in the farming community. Nowadays, they are used to identify individual crops in large fields. Farmers can also use them to mark where one crop ends and another begins. For example, sunflower and pumpkin crops can be identified using tassels.
Other plant types have also adopted tassels, including those that produce flowers or fruit. For example, orchards often use dried apples or pears as tassels on their trees since it’s easy to spot them among the green leaves. Most gardeners use small silk trees to tie their flowers together.
This is especially useful with types of flowers that grow in clumps (ex. lilies). In some cases, tasseling is used to mean an entire plant type or group of crops. For example, when gardeners talk about corn tassels they don’t mean a single ear of corn. Instead, they are talking about the whole plant.
Tassels are also used in ornamental flower arrangements. For example, a single stalk of dried corn can create a dramatic effect when tied with a ribbon and placed in a vase or jar. They can be used to decorate gift packages and centerpieces.
They are very popular at weddings and other festive occasions. In general, tassels are easy to find and buy online. They come in many different colors and varieties, though the most popular types used for decorating are made from natural materials.
Tassels can raise controversy among those that believe they are immoral, unnatural or otherwise offensive. For example, some people object to corn tassels because they are grown using genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In fact, some groups organize protests against the selling and use of tassels altogether.
Although these groups are small, they often target large corporations in hopes of getting them to change practices. For example, there was a well-publicized protest against the fast food chain “Tasty Burger” for using GMO corn. As a result, many Tasty Burger locations stopped carrying their popular tassel-topped fries.
Another ongoing debate is whether or not gardeners have the right to destroy someone else’s crops if they contain tassels.
Sources & references used in this article:
Detecting corn tassels using computer vision and support vector machines by F Kurtulmuş, I Kavdir – Expert Systems with Applications, 2014 – Elsevier
Corn production with kura clover as a living mulch by RA Zemenchik, KA Albrecht, CM Boerboom… – Agronomy …, 2000 – Wiley Online Library
Production of hybrid seed corn by RD Wych – Corn and corn improvement, 1988 – Wiley Online Library