Sweet Corn in the Desert

Ethel grew up on a dairy farm not far from Wausau, Wisconsin. The farm, its woods, and the stream that ran through the farm often finds its way into her poetry, but perhaps the greatest skill she took away from her childhood was her ability to grow anything anywhere. The Pueblo and Navajo who live in the country around Continental Divide have traditionally grown the three sisters: Corn, squash, and beans. We had not lived in New Mexico for long before Ethel picked up the magic of this combination of plants. This year, however, her corn has been the most spectacular of any year since we moved here. She made compost all winter and spring and has fed the small corn patch in our yard strategically since early spring. She has watered most mornings during this terrible year of drought, and the result is the tallest sweet corn to be found anywhere close to here. The beans, wrapped around the corn stalks, is just as profuse, resulting in a good year for Ethel’s crops.


Filed under Art, Ethel Mortenson Davis, Photography

10 responses to “Sweet Corn in the Desert

  1. After this dry year, it’s nice to see corn plants that are green.

  2. Living in harmony with nature. 😀

  3. Caddo Veil

    That this year has brought Ethel’s best corn crop, strikes me as the physical presence of God’s blessing in your lives. Wonderful!

  4. Such victorious corn in this terrible year of drought! Huzzas to Ethel!

  5. eremophila

    Plus the vital ingredient – love 🙂 Well done Ethel♥

  6. Julie Catherine

    Wonderful, Ethel! Your corn looks amazing, and I love the idea of wrapping the beans around the corn; that’s ingenious! Congratulations on being able to work so well with nature and all that is sacred – and you and Thomas will enjoy the fruits of your bounty! ~ Julie xox

  7. Anna Mark

    Yeah! What a labour of love and so good to be so close to the earth and to its fruits. My daughter, who is 5, loves “corn on the bob…” Makes me smile every time I hear her say it ; )

  8. Thank you all for these comments. Love Ethel

  9. Well done, Ethel! I can’t say I am surprised; as you said, Thomas, so much of her communion, connection, empathy with the land and all of nature comes through in her poetry and pastels. It is lovely that you shared a little more about her.

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