Is this Iowa? No, it’s Revere

October 21, 2009
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There must be magic in the corn seeds that Marc Telfort plants in the front yard garden of his Hyde Street home, as he has produced a bountiful harvest over the last few years – with eye-catching plants that tower two-stories tall.

Neighbors and passers-by have noticed Telfort’s garden especially this year as many gardens bagged out due to the drenching early summer rains. But Telfort has produced corn plants that are probably 15-feet high and visible from far down the street.

“In a season when crops haven’t done well this gentleman has apparently done something right,” said one Sewall Street neighbor. “The corn stalks have to be about 12 feet high and his front property isn’t that big. We just drove by there and it was absolutely amazing. The gentleman was out there tending his little garden with the giant corn stalks with great diligence.”

Telfort, though, says there is no magic.

In fact, Telfort – a native of Haiti – said that the corn he grows is a special variety from the Caribbean and tends to grow much higher than a traditional North American corn plant. They do produce similar ears of corn though.

“We don’t have the smaller corn like they have here,” he said. “Our corn grows much taller than it does here, but it needs a longer summer. It would be even taller if the summer here were longer.”

He said that his corn has flourished this year because he has a green thumb.

“My garden has done well this year because I know what I’m doing and that’s because I have a lot of experience,” he said. “In Haiti, before I came here, I was a farmer and a tailor. I have some experience.”

Telfort – whose two children go to Revere High School – said that he grows corn, eggplant and several other vegetables in his backyard. However, his corn gets the most comments and he and his family typically dry it out and grind it up to make homemade corn meal.

“I would like to find a piece of land in Revere to grow a bigger garden,” he said. “I would like to have more space to grow things and do some more farming again.”

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