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Kernels of gold! Bumper corn crop on Fourth Avenue • Brooklyn Paper

Kernels of gold! Bumper corn crop on Fourth Avenue

A merciless drought killed off much of the Midwest’s corn crop, such as this ear from Ankeny, Iowa.
AP / Charlie Neibergall

Mother nature apparently prefers the urban jungle.

A merciless drought killed off much of the Midwest’s corn crop — but the tough-to-grow veggie is thriving on a sidewalk in Park Slope.

Workers at Ivy Garden — a health food shop on Fourth Avenue and President Street — recently harvested several six-foot-tall corn plants using two patches of dirt near the store.

The corn-centric mini-farm impresses even the most green-thumbed Brooklynites, who say the crop is difficult to grow due to lack of space and miles of concrete.

“It’s a great juxtaposition and a reminder that you don’t need acres to grow beautiful things,” said Frieda Lim, who turned her roof into a garden in Gowanus.

Lim said she doesn’t grow corn, but she recently harvested a bunch of juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants — which is more than some farmers in the corn belt can say.

This year’s crop of corn and soybeans suffered from the worst drought the Midwest has seen in 76 years — which caused plants to die, prices to surge and farmers to panic.

Unlike those disappointed soil stompers, these Gowanus-based urban farmers aren’t looking to turn kernels into a career.

The roped-off plants, which produced several ears, are for fun, not profit, and aren’t for sale.

Keeping them healthy was easier than you’d expect — with the help of one key ingredient.

“There’s no secret,” sad Linda, a clerk at the shop. “Really, we just water them.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

A drought is killing much of the Midwest’s corn crop — but the tasty veggies are thriving on this Gowanus sidewalk.
Community Newspaper Group / Natalie O’Neill

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