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Unformatted text preview: (Zea mays) is a Corn or maize (
domesticated plant of the Americas. Along with many other indigenous plants like beans, squash, melons, tobacco, and roots such as Jerusalem artichoke, European colonists in America quickly adopted maize agriculture from Native Americans. Crops developed by Native Americans quickly spread to other parts of the world as well. Eventually the productivity of maize cultivation Eventually the productivity of maize cultivation was great enough to make it possible and worthwhile for a family to produce food for the bulk of their diet for an entire year from a small area. Although maize agriculture permitted a family to live in one place for an extended period of time, the commitment to agriculture involved demands on human time and labor and often restricted human mobility. The genetic alterations in teosinte changed its value as a food resource and at the same time affected the human scheduling necessary for its effective procurement. As the life style of mobile hunting and As the life style of mobile hunting and gathering was transformed into sedentary agricultural customs, very slowly the cultivation of maize, along with the other crops of the "three sisters" (beans and squash) was introduced into the southwestern and southeastern parts of North America. The practice of maize agriculture did not reach southern New England until about a thousand years ago. Maize was observed to grow in a series of Maize was observed to grow in a series of segments, like other members of the grass family, which took approximately one phase of the moon to form, with approximately seven segments in all, from which ears were produced only at the joints of the segments. Native Americans of northern New England gradually encouraged the formation of ears at the lower joints of the stalk by planting kernels from these ears. Eventually, as ears were regularly produced at the lower joints of the cornstalk, the crop was adapted to the shorter growing season of the north and matured within three months of planting. Agricultural fields consisted of small Agricultural fields consisted of small mo...
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- Fall '11