King Corn

By Harriet Kattenberg, July 3rd, 2015 | No Comments »

cornMy eyes were opened this week. Shockingly opened!

I shared with Joel. His eyes suddenly opened.

I shared with Faren. His eyes suddenly opened.

All in the neighbor’s corn field.

Michael Poellen wrote about King Corn in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Corn is in so SO many foods. Anything processed has a high probability of having corn-something on its ingredient list.

Every second year corn surrounds our farm. Farmer Brown is old fashioned; he still rotates his crops; corn one year; soybeans the next year. With the ethanol craze a few years back, some farmers still plant corn on corn on corn on corn.

Imagine what your gut would look/feel like if you only ate one food, regardless if it was a healthy food or a processed food. We all know we need diversity in our diets to supply as many different vitamins, minerals, and sources of fiber as possible. So with only corn root exudates as food, the soil and its microbes are sick, too.

But I digress.

Corn. The wisdom of corn.

I never thought I, of all people, would praise corn. I don’t like to grow corn, weed corn, pick corn. I do, however, like to eat sweet corn. That’s it.

But the other day my eyes opened to the wisdom and power in the design of corn.

We had one tenth inch of rain, refreshing our hearts for a few hours, but not enough to slow the work schedule or dampen the soil.

Irrigation tape

Irrigation tape

However, in the corn field, the soil around each plant was visibly wetter than between the long rows. The soil directly around each plant looked like there was irrigation tape dripping water to each plant’s roots.

Suddenly my eyes opened. I saw each corn plant was holding all of its rough leaves up to the sky, like a multi-armed human spreading her arms wide to the heavens, asking for blessings. The rough hairy leaves gather dew and every drop of rain and directed the precious moisture down the stalk to the roots below.

No wonder corn/maize grows all over the world, from the fertile fields in Iowa to the dry lands of Mexico. Corn is tough and strong and knows how to collect water from the atmosphere and direct it to its roots. My amazed eyes ran over our fields of veggies and flowers. All coddled. None were actively fighting for survival the way corn does.

Corn truly is a king!

Harriet @ Seedtime and Harvest

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