Quilt Notes: CORN AND BEANS appeared in the Ladies Art Company Catalogue in the late 19th century, #100. It is "an exceeding simple and most effective" 4-Patch design, says Nancy Cabot (Chicago Tribune, February 9, 1935), see her piecing grid left and ANIMATION.
For a vegetarian, corn and beans mixed together nutritionally make up a complete protein, and therefore can replace meat products. Most quilters would also likely be aware of the rotation (the block also rotates) of these crops in agriculture, but why? Here is an interesting note on the farming of CORN AND BEANS, from WikiHow.com:
"Because one plant will require different nutrients and support different destructive organisms, by planting a different crop in subsequent seasons, the nutrients taken from the soil can be replaced and the destructive organisms can be reduced. An example is planting corn and beans in rotation. Corn requires a lot of nitrogen to offer a good yield, and has specific pests and diseases, like corn earworms, corn blight, among others. By planting beans in rotation, the legume (beans), fix additional nitrogen in the soil, and during the bean growing season, corn pests and diseases have no plants to reproduce or replenish themselves in, so they die off or decrease."
For more agricultural blocks, compare with COUNTRY FARM and STRAIGHT FURROW.