Boerum Hill’s corn field is truly a-maize-ing — but the artist responsible for the crop admitted this week that Canarsie, not Smith Street, got the most exclusive variety of grain.
In a mea culpa that could reverberate from the corner of Bergen Street to the corn belt, Christina Kelly revealed that she reserved her limited supply of Lenape blue flour corn for the project’s sister garden in Canarsie.
At the same time, we got a New York State blue flint corn of which Kelly had a more ample supply. The root of the matter came down to trust.
“I really thought the Boerum Hill garden would be vandalized — that someone might take a plant,” she said. “But nothing’s happened. I’m amazed. It’s not that I think the people of Boerum Hill are bad — it’s just the nature of the city.”
The Boerum Hill plot stands in an area cultivated by the Marechkawich Indians in the 17th century, and apparently our forebears knew what they were doing when they picked this spot.
Boerum Hill’s corn continues to far outpace Canarsie’s crop. The stalks have already clambered to three-and-a-half feet tall, and show no signs of slowing down, while Canarsie’s corn is about a foot shorter.
Kelly said the growth differential is likely a product of the sunlight each plot receives: The Boerum Hill plot soaks up to 12 hours a day, while the Canarsie plot only gets about eight hours, because it is shielded by a school.
Regardless, with enough peat moss, chicken compost, tender loving care and no vandalism, Kelly expects both plots to mature by the end of August.
But then, she will face her biggest challenge yet: hungry squirrels. Stay tuned …
To learn more about the project, go to www.brookl