Editorial: Corn can sure be corny

Published 7:53 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thanks to John and Charlotte Leininger for planting corn seeds from Mexico and Brazil, mainly just for fun. The plants were tall, though the ears were small.

The plants were a good reminder of the fact that corn is an awkward tropical grass that has been spread throughout the world by man. First it spread through the Americas, then after Europeans made contact with Native Americans, it spread through the rest of the world.

Why do we call it awkward? Seriously, what kind of plant has its female flower (the silk) halfway down the stalk? Not very smart in terms of reproduction.

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No wonder the term “corny” means hackneyed.

But thanks to people’s desire for its kernels, this tasty tropical grass has done rather well.

And it should be doing a little better around here thanks to the rain the Albert Lea area received on Monday.

The tale about the Leininger’s published Friday. Look to the Tribune this week for another a-maize-ing tale about a 5-year-old corn farmer.