Smith and Bergen Now

In Canarsie the corn had a hard time getting going and it's still small but the beans and squash have taken off. Here the corn grew faster and taller than I expected and as a result the stalks seem to be shading out the squash and beans. Still things look great. We've got ears forming on the stalks. We'll see how/if they fill out (see close up of the silks)

Canarsie Now

Isak and I visited the garden on Monday. The squash patch has gone wild and the beans have raced up the stakes. In the three sisters/corn patch the corn looks healthy (even our Lenape Blue seems to have survived). The stalks are short. Tassels are starting to appear. So we'll see what happens next. If you want to see how the garden has changed in the past two weeks just check out the picture from July 9th (I love this garden, Canarsie)


Back from Vacation

Sorry for no new posts over the past two weeks. I've been out of town on a family vacation. Thank you so much to the folks who helped maintain the gardens while I was away: Jeff Hutchison, Isak Mendes, Abby Savitch-Lew and Greensulate.

New pix and updates coming soon.


I Love this Garden, Canarsie

Yesterday I was back down in Canarsie. I think the garden is looking great. A passerby stopped to chat. I explained what we were doing and she said, "I knew something special was going on here." Probably the nicest compliment we could get.
But I am sad to say our original Lenape Blue doesn't seem to be doing so well. I couldn't bear to take a picture close up of the situation. It was the first seedling to sprout from the ground --one of a select few from the first batch of seeds that actually emerged. It grew to be the largest stalk in the group. The majestic Lenape Blue. It seems to have been felled by a firecracker on Independence Day. The cruelest of ironies.

How many stripes on a bumblebee? Bergen St.

Tassels, happy pursulane in the cracks, and a bee taking a swig of Seneca sunflower


And another hot ride down to Canarsee

Our big Lenape blue was knocked over! There was a firecracker beside the mound so perhaps it was a 4th of July firework. We found a bunch fireworks in the garden, including one next to the neck pumpkin squash. We staked our big Lenape blue and hopefully it will be ok. Overall, the garden is really looking nice. All our hard work seems to be paying off.
Thanks Isak!

Bergen St. beans climbing and some hints of tassles

Here you can see the beans starting to climb the corn stalks. Also I can see a few tassels tucked among the leaves.


Hack Job - Cobble Hill Courier

Sadly the front page of the Cobble Hill Courier has a report on the corn that is completely false. The reporter Gary Busio has written: "In a startling mea culpa, Christina Kelly revealed that she intentionally planted common corn at the corner of Smith and Bergen streets instead of the rare Lenape blue flour corn she planted at a sister garden in Canarsie."

I'm not sure why he has written this. The information about the corn I planted in Boerum Hill is posted on my website and in the garden itself. It has been available to the public since the beginning of the project. It is certainly not a common corn.

It is the beautiful Iroquois heirloom variety called Gigi Hill blue flint corn.

I actually received a small packet of this corn last year from a botanist in Connecticut whom I contacted while researching the kind of corn the Native Americans would have been growing here at the time of the Dutch arrival. Last summer I grew out the Gigi Hill in a small three sisters garden on the Waterpod -- one of two "test" gardens I did for this project (the other garden was at the Lefferts Historical Homestead in Prospect Park) I collected seeds from the Waterpod garden and have used them in this year's Boerum Hill garden.

Pictures above of the corn seeds and the Waterpod/Gigi Hill three sisters garden from last year.

I hope you will ignore the Courier story and will continue to enjoy the corn!


Bergen St. July 1st

A Seneca sunflower is about to open up. The squash look cute and innocent now, but watch how they grow! And a snap of people just hanging out at the corn.