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Showing posts from January 7, 2018

Forkways #17: Forklore - Corn

I was watching an episode of Good Eats when I first fell in love with stories that food hold inside of them. The food that they were talking about was corn. The transition of the grass thiocyanate into the grain we know as corn, spoken of elsewhere as maize is a mixture of magic and science. The knowledge that brought prehistoric people to cultivate corn amazes me. 

Corn has become deeply American. Perhaps because it is native to the Americas or the way that it transformed the Midwest. Even the canning industry transformed Maine through sweet corn.

Corn was an important part of many agricultural systems for Native Americans across what is now the United States. Many of these tribes utilized the three sisters method of planting.


The three sisters system of agriculture used by many Native Americans in the Southwest and beyond. Mounds are built for each cluster of crop. A corn, bean, and squash seed would be planted in each mound. As the crops grew, the bean would climb up …