Chapter 3 The life cycles of maize

Paul Ermigiotti records the growth of maize in the Check Dam Garden.

All farmers combine intimate knowledge about the crops they grow with in-field observations of how their crops are doing during the growing season. They use this information throughout the growing season when making decisions about how to care for their crops. Farmers from different cultures often have different “ways of knowing” about how their crops are doing.

Here, we present two ways of knowing that describe the life cycle of maize. The Hopi life cycle of maize emphasizes the relationship between Hopi farmers and their corn that has sustained the Hopi people for generations. The phenology of maize are the growth stages that scientists record to understand the life cycle of maize.