Corn Rhythms

June 4, 2009

Corn Rhythms

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 12 paintings each 12′ x 9″
  • In multiple collections

Corn Rhythms is one of a number of corn paintings I’ve produced. The plant fascinates me.

Random thoughts about corn:
A vivid memory as a kid is riding past a cornfield, watching the animated legs created by speeding past corn rows.

Corn is the crop my father coated with atrazine when he started a crop spraying business in 1967. A practice that took his life in 1969.

If you’re interested in learning the place of corn in our modern food system, read Michael Pollan‘s Omnivore’s Dilemma. Besides the patenting of life issue, Pollan explores corn from it’s humble beginnings as a grass to it’s dominance in food supplies.

Summer meals of corn on the cob and tomatoes are an ecstatic experience.

My husband makes popcorn often. Years ago I had my grandfather’s popcorn seed. It was a small, multi-colored variety. I have a few ears. I bet it will still grow.

GMO/Pharmacrops are grown in KS. Shock and horror was expressed by a professor at our land grant university when corn was pharmacropped. There’s no controlling corn pollen. Now GMO rice for diarrhea is grown here. Missouri wouldn’t allow it. As my grandson says, “What could they be thinking?”

As I hike USA’s western wilderness areas, I explore ruins of ancient ancestors. Occasionally I see corncobs and mano and matates; the limestone grinder and grinding stone for corn. The limestone in the corn caused the teeth to wear. A story is told of finding a mummy with a whole bird in the stomach. The person finding it too painful to chew, swallowed the bird whole.

Almost 40 years ago I detasseled corn in the fields along I-70 just east of town. Every year since, only corn has been grown in those fields. What’s wrong with that picture? Again, I recommend Pollan’s book.

A few years ago as a citizen scientist for a state university I was given a test kit to check the ph, turbidity, atrazine levels, among other tests, in water of one of the main feeder creeks for our town water reservoir. The atrazine registered at the toxic level in May and June. Whether the data we collected has had any impact on requiring riparian strips between cropland and waterways or chemical usage policy, I have not heard.

One Response to “Corn Rhythms”

  1. […] the cost associated, toxins in soil and water, etc. in this technology led model of farming. In my “Corn Rhythms” post I tell of working on a corn detasseling crew along I-70 in the early 1970. I have, to date, […]

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