and Gary Buiso
Things are getting corny in Canarsie.
Students and teachers at Public School 115 last week helped a Carroll Gardens artist plant old-school corn on a patch of land near their school at East 92nd Street and Avenue N.
It’s part of an art project called “Maize Field” that examines the borough’s agrarian past and offers a living meditation on the idea of change.
“It’s interesting how much things have changed in a short period of time without leaving any trace,” said Christina Kelly, the artist who hatched a the plan to plant on the 10- by 25-yard field. “It’s a very New York thing to talk about how your neighborhood has changed. But if you think about the things you’ve lost, you’ll pay attention to things you want to preserve.”
Kelly reviewed archival maps showing Native American paths and farms throughout the borough — trails that led her to PS 115.
“It seems our school lies in what was a planting area a hundred years ago and she expressed an interest in planting Native American crops next to a playground,” said PS 15 Principal Mitch Pinsky, who then got science teacher Ivelisse Fanas and a number of students involved in the project.
With the OK from Pinsky, Kelly got together with students this week and planteed Lenape blue flour corn, which the Lenape Indians — who lived throughout Brooklyn — planted in Canarsie.
It’s the first step in what will become a traditional “Three Sisters” garden — which combines corn, beans and squash.
“I like planting things and learning about the history of Canarsie,” said fourth grader Cameron Thomis, 9, who helped plant the seeds.
Pinsky said that students and a teacher help maintain the garden through to harvest in the fall.