Celebrating Students ’13: Liza Messinger

I love corn, whether eaten grilled at my house or dipped in butter and salted at the Minnesota State Fair, but this summer is the first time I ever truly appreciated it because I dug, sweat, watered, and begged corn into existence on IMG_1609my family’s new plot at a Minneapolis community garden. As a sustainable garden, I couldn’t use power tools or synthetic fertilizers, so in the fashion of Little House on the Prairie, I used only a shovel and pitchfork to remove the sod, turn over the soil to add air, shape the beds, and plant corn, lettuce, beets, and peas. When sprouts started to appear, I was surprised to find how invested I was in the success of each plant. I knew where each new carrot shoot was, observed the bees pollinating the corn, and mourned the bug- eaten lettuce. So now whenever I bite into a corn cob, I taste the sweet kernels, but also the hard work of my summer, and the often forgotten work that someone did somewhere to grow the food on my plate.