home bookshop feed the hungry   earthly pursuits logo
what's new old book library safe seed pledge  
contact about books about food & recipes  
links I  II   garden tips  
search flower language blether  
  alphabetized flowers     flowers by meaning companion planting  
 
bookcases     
  
 
    click here to make a
"free" contribution to earthly pursuits

Vegetables :


 

THE OLD AND THE NEW IN CORN CULTURE


THE OLD AND THE NEW
IN CORN CULTURE

Page

 
1

Corn The Great American Cereal
Corn and the Early Colonies

2 Corn and the Indian
3a Photos - Corn & Tools
3b Photos - Indians in corn fields
4a Photos - Corn Drying & Hopi field
4b Photos - Mortar and Pestles
5 Kinds of Corn Grown by the Indians.
6 Primitive Seed-testing Methods.
The Nettle Seed Tester
7 Primitive Corn-Planting Methods
8 Indian Cornfields
Primitive Tools
9 Plants as Indicators of the Season
10 Seed Selection and Storing
11

Indian Corn Foods

12

Primitive and Modern Methods of Culture
13 Corn and the Westward Movement
14 Corn and the Packing Industry
15 The Silo and the Corn Crop
16 Variations of the Corn Plant
17 Corn and the Struggle for Democracy

 

 

From the Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture 1918
page 12

By H. Howard Biggar,
Office of Corn Investigations, Bureau of Plant Industry.

PRIMITIVE AND MODERN METHODS OF CULTURE.

   The evolution in methods of corn culture since the primitive days when the Indians cared for their main food plant may seem very striking. In comparing, however, the practices of the red man with our modern methods of corn culture, we must not fail to recognize his ingenuity and foresight. Modern tools were not available. Years of experimental evidence as to the wisdom of this or that step were wholly lacking. In view of these facts, the Indian's utilization of materials at hand and his methods of procedure are to be commended. The Indian had no means of recording time. He watched the forces of nature in planning his agricultural work. Seed was prepared and corn was planted with the wild turnips began to bloom, when grass became green, when plums, wild grapes, or juneberries began to blossom, or when the leaves of the trees began to uncurl.
   In lieu of our modern tillage machines, the women of the tribes worked up the ground with tools wrought from wood, bone, or stone. The number of kernels planted per hill has not materially changed even to this day. The principle of spacing hills and the distance apart of hills are about the same to-day as in primitive times. Special attention was given to the type of seed ear, the drying of seed, and the testing of germination in primitive testers; all these indicate an almost uncanny knowledge on the part of the Indian agriculturist, quite in keeping with our emphasis on these points to-day.
   It is a far cry from the cache to the modern well-ventilated corn crib, but the utility of the cache as a burglar-proof storage house can not be denied. Domestic-science experts, skilled in methods of utilization of corn as a food, must not fail to recognize primitive housekeeping skill as exemplified in the scores of corn foods prepared and used by the Indians.

 

     previous / next