“When I walk in this field and I look at these plants, that’s years of my corn breeding that you’re looking at. I feel like the caretaker. These are my babies.”
– Farmer Gene
It’s only fair we warn you this heirloom popcorn can be addictive. We feel lucky to be able to share it with you, since this one-of-a-kind seed was nearly lost forever. It was discovered by Samuel Kelty in Shellsburg, Iowa in the 1850s, and kept in the Kelty family for over 100 years.
Fast forward three generations to Richard Kelty, Samuel’s great, great, great grandson, discovering his mother about to pop the last remaining kernels. He grabbed the small jar of seeds, rescued a few handfuls for planting and allowed his mom to pop the rest.
Richard kept planting, with the dream of sharing this amazing popcorn with the rest of the world. Having trouble with the yield of this rare seed, at the time called K&K Popcorn (for Kelty & Kramer), he hired a farmer and soil consultant to help. That farmer was Gene Mealhow, current caretaker of Tiny But Mighty Popcorn, often referred to as TBM Popcorn. Never genetically modified or hybridized to become something that it isn’t, this little heirloom, full of mighty flavor, has captured hearts and taste buds across America and beyond.
As a serious popcorn connoisseur I have eaten TBM Popcorn for many years. I like the flavor and texture, but also the story behind this unique product. Farmer Gene & Lynn have been “farmer friendly” and always helpful. I wish them success and prosperity in their endeavors.