PLANTING CORN ~~ PART TWO

By the time the first official day of Spring came around, we could feel the energy not
only in our garden, but in the country when we were biking or walking. Marco would
stop and talk with the old men out preparing their fields for planting, which is how
we learned that our corn should be in the ground as close to the 20th of March as
possible. We usually plant a month or so later, so we are excited this year to finally
be following a more traditional schedule.

First we had to clear away the compost that had been temporarily piled in our little
field.The compost pile got moved back to its orginal space, and the dirt it had created
in the meantime was mixed into the ground and watered daily until planting day, when
Marco prepared rows for the seed.

We have a tiny corn patch that seems to always be right in the path of swirling winds.
Last year I read about how Native Americans would sometimes plant corn in a spiral
pattern to help protect against wind damage, so we thought we would try that this year.
Because of the spacing needed between each mound, we could not design an elaborate
swirl, but we do have a circle in the middle with two curved rows on either end, like
this: (( O ))

This year we planted only red corn, given to us by a new friend Marco met in the fields
one day. This red corn, and also the other traditional type, the blue corn, is strong
and grows fast, which means that your family will be able to eat sooner than if you had
planted other varieties.

Since Marco had done all the heavy work with the hoe and spade, I got to do the dirty
work of placing four kernels in each chosen spot, covering them, and moving on a foot
or so to place the next four. I started in the center of the O, then the circle itself
and then the end rows. The dirt was cool, wet, and every so often wiggly when I woke up
a worm or two.

It was a lovely day for planting, with clouds building up in the afternoon and a gentle
rain overnight to welcome the seeds to their new home. I wonder if we will have some
baby corn stalks to show you by April 19th…..wouldn’t that be a nice way to start the
Earth’s Day 24 Hour Challenge?!

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