Thursday, May 28, 2009

Corn's Up!

May 28

Trying to reenergize this blog, I've thought I might include a running account of my efforts at farming in Allston. Here at my plot in the Herter Community Garden, the corn I planted in six hills a week ago is just showing above ground (hat tip to Bob V who not only phoned to tell me but used his phone to send a photo, a confusion of technologies I find perplexing). In any case, corn has long been my favorite plant to grow, part for the vigor and size of the plant, part for the incomparable taste of the ears fresh-picked, part for certain mythic associations from the Hebrew prophets all the way to Longfellow's Hiawatha. They're so tiny and vulnerable now, but in two months time, if the gods are willing and the weather auspicious, if the rabbits desist and the pests forbear, these plants will be towering overhead, angular ears protruding, tassles whispering in the wind. A miracle. 

4 comments:

Jim said...

I didn't know about this community garden in Allston. Do you have any information on how to get involved?

brent said...

Hi Jim: Glad you asked. Herter Garden is right on the Charles river, near the Public Theater and opposite WBZ, probably technically in Brighton but close enough to count as Allston. There may be phone or email contacts (I don't know them), but if you want to garden, the best way to get in touch is to go there and leave a note with your contact info in the wooden mailbox on the gate. A volunteer coordinator assigns plots and keeps a waiting list. My guess is that a plot for this year is unlikely (though not impossible), but quite likely for next year. Members pay $30/yr and help with common chores. It's a great way to get out, meet people, and get in touch with your inner farmer. Good luck!

Jerry said...

Sorry newbie farmer, but sweet corn is a wind pollinator vs insect, you need about a ½ acre minimum of mature sweet corn w/ all that pollen flying around for any edible ears. Each kernel is a fertilized seed via the corn silk. With only a few plants, you will end the season with mature plants with ears but having only on or two pollinated kernels on each.

brent said...

Check your data, Jerry. I harvested several dozen ears from the same small plot last year, and I could swear those were real kernels I was eating with such pleasure.