With Thanksgiving comes Indian corn, the Small Budget Gardener’s secret seed source. Large ears may be all one color, they may be a mixture of wide ranging hues or just lightly speckled. Small strawberry popcorn with its flint hard ruby red kernels resemble a fat strawberry fruit. Slender miniature popcorn are jewel tone decorations. All of these are two-for-one purchases because they may be enjoyed as decor, then saved over winter and planted in the summer garden to grow your own next year. This is loads of fun for the kids and teaches so much when you complete the whole cycle. So pick your ears at the market with care and be sure to plant the colors separately to prevent cross pollination so your next crop is identical to its predecessor.
This is my very favorite shot from El Dia De Los Muertos in Oaxaca, Mexico. This is one of the many altars at home and business where the dead are remembered with offerings and flowers. It is an extraordinary blending of my Catholic roots with preColumbian Aztec rites of the afterworld that are not only beautiful, they help us remember our ancestors and mourn the dead. It spans October 31 to Novemer 2 over the feast days known as All Saints and All Souls, which were once called All Hallows in the Old World. It is believed that on these nights the veil between the living and the dead is temporarily drawn aside so that all may come together again for a brief interlude. The traditions have spread across the American Southwest as Mexican immigrants brought their traditions to El Norte. More on the marigolds of this Mexican tradition at Chicago Sun Times online: http://searchchicago.suntimes.com/homes/news/energy/2841770,marigolds-day-of-dead1027.article