Journey of A Garden: Hecho de Maiz.


I’m not quite ‘hecho de maiz’. I’m not made of corn.

Soon, though, I may be largely sustained by corn if my plants continue grow at their current rate.

I could be roasting it, boiling it and smearing butter over it. I could scrape off the kernels and put them in a salad or I could grind down the corn and make it into Sadza, Ugali, Nshima or Mielie Meal – and before you know it, I’ll be breaking world records from the 800 metres to the Marathon.

Or, I could launch myself into the perfect siesta with a corn tortilla full of greasy goodness.


The six lots of corn that I planted a while ago are growing well in the backyard, even with two different methods of planting.

The garden is at the back of a rental property on the south coast of New South Wales, about 2 hours south of Sydney, Australia. The soil is generally fertile in a region famous for dairy farming and viticulture, although the garden had been stripped of much of its nutrients when I moved in, courtesy of the previous tenant’s neglect and a dry winter. The garden attracts quite a lot of sun, during very warm summer months and even during colder winter months in what is typically a temperate climate. The area is also famous for beaches and surfing, which is great after a day of hard yakka in the garden.

Three of them were planted straight into the ground.

I dug a small hole, put some seeds into the hole, then covered it with potting mix. Then I just made sure to water the plants regularly.

The others were planted into a no dig garden bed comprised of layers of grass clippings, manure and soil.

All of the corn is growing very well, although I wonder if the corn in the no dig garden bed is growing a little too well and stealing nutrients from its bedfellow, the eggplant, which is starting to look a little withered.


The state of the eggplant prompted me to add some seaweed to the no dig garden bed, so hopefully this will help the corn and the eggplant to grow.

I decided to grow corn because it is a relatively easy crop to grow, as long as it has enough water and sunlight, and because I wanted to grow food which can provide the substance to a meal. That is, I want a food that will fill me up, because if I can only grow fruits like tomatoes, silverbeet and eggplant then I will still be hungry at the end of a meal. If I wanted to do that, I would go to an insanely expensive restaurant serving an eight course menu of minuscule degustations which can only be enjoyed after consuming copious glasses of the ridiculously over-priced wine list.

I’d rather eat a hearty meal straight from my garden.




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