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  • Winthrop Estate

Corn. Pretty or Scary?

Is the corn stalk pretty or scary?

Scary to me: Corn planted in huge fields. I think of loud, expensive machines, GMOs, pesticides, and the ecological problems of growing a monoculture.

Pretty to me: A few rows of corn planted with squash and beans in a small garden. Those corn stalks are pretty to me. I think of natural symbiosis. I think of the corn growing first, providing a bit of shade for the squash and beans and giving them a pole to climb on and I think of the roots and needs of one plant balancing the soil for the others. I can see the graceful bend of the leaves and the patterned tassels emerging at the tops. I think of the South American and Native American stories of the corn people. I think of the corn stalk as a symbol woven into rugs and tapestries and bead work and jewelry and of the reverence paid to this wonderful plant from peoples who depend on it.

The plant looks almost the same whether it's grown in one small row or a huge field, but to me they look very different.

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