Popcorn maize from the Münsterland? It really does exist - on the Selhorst farm in Ascheberg-Herbern. The farm, which is run by Regina and Benedikt Selhorst and their son Christoph, is actually designed for pig fattening. The family grows the feed for the animals themselves on their fields. Then, in 2019, the first popcorn field trial started: the Selhorsts pinched off a few hundred square metres and sowed a small amount of popcorn maize - and the trial was promising.
Christoph's wife Christina Selhorst came up with the idea of growing popcorn maize in Münsterland on a business trip to the USA: "A lot of popcorn maize is grown there, which is then imported to Germany, among other places," says the 28-year-old, who grew up on a farm in Senden. One question stuck with her afterwards: "Why don't we actually do that?" Because the climate conditions in Germany are not ideal for it - but feasible, as was to be seen with the first small harvest in 2019: picked by hand and dried in the bedroom, the quantity was enough for friends and family. And they were thrilled with the small, very tender flakes.
In 2020, the seeds were sown on a larger scale, and in autumn an almost antique cob-picking machine from friends was used. Drying took place in a specially equipped room, and bottling was again lovingly done by hand. "When the food safety inspector gave us the green light, we started marketing," says the agricultural science graduate, who now works as a journalist.
Within a very short time, the Münsterland popcorn maize became nationally known via Instagram - and highly sought after: "We received enquiries from everywhere, from private individuals and businesses," says Christina Selhorst, adding: "The popcorn maize is a high-priced, regional product and therefore something very special." And it should stay that way: "We see our maize less on supermarket shelves and much more in the farm shops in Münster and Münsterland. This way we can give the farmers from the region a face - and respond to a wonderful development: People are placing more and more value on supporting regional agriculture."
Since the "popcorn team" around Christoph Selhorst and Christina Selhorst - consisting of committed friends and family members - was literally overrun in the 2020 Christmas season, there are currently only remaining stocks in the farm shops and online shop. "In autumn 2021, there will be more stock," promises Christina Selhorst, who already has new ideas: "We are planning to rent out a popcorn machine for events. Of course, only when the Corona situation allows it again."
The Münsterland popcorn maize is available in various sizes and types in the online shop at www.hof-selhorst.de/popcornmais.
Since the end of November 2021, you can also find it again in many farm shops in Münsterland.