Sweet corn season has arrived with a bang.  As you know, we have moved up the Corn Boil because of how fast the sweet corn is maturing.  Like many of the vegetables, we succession plant, meaning we plant many times over the course of the growing season so that the crop matures over several weeks, and not all at once.  We do this every year with sweet corn so that you can enjoy the sweet crunch of juicy corn for as many weeks as possible.

But the weather always has its way and messes with our plans.  Corn matures not based on days in the ground, but instead based on heat; yes heat, that thing we are all getting plenty of this summer.  Even though we have spaced out our plantings, the extreme heat we have been having has accelerated the maturity of the corn so the weekly plantings of corn in May and June are ripening less than a week apart.  Over the course of 10 days we will be harvesting corn that was supposed to mature over 21 to 28 days.

For the Corn Boil, we always plant a portion of the first three plantings by the house; so that one of them will mature at our preset Corn Boil date.   This year, all three are ripening almost together, right now; hence the Corn Boil this coming weekend.  The corn is delicious and there will be all you can eat, so come hungry.

Another weather impact on the corn this year is the drought.  We irrigate all our crops, however combined with the extreme heat, there are some ears or portions of ears that have not pollinated completely.  This means the kernels do not grow.  So a few ears may look a little empty, but with our irrigation that is not a big problem.  Unlike our neighbors growing conventional corn, most of those corn fields you drive by will have very poor pollination; meaning those farmers will have a very bad corn harvest.

You’ve likely already seen sweet corn at the roadside stands.  Conventional growers have pesticide based growing methods that always allow them to harvest corn earlier than your organic CSA farmer.  We transplant our corn (a ton of work) to bring you organic sweet corn as early as possible; however we don’t plant earlier maturing corn because it just does not taste as good.  Hope you enjoy the harvest.

Corn transplants in the greenhouse in May.

Jesse (second from left) and the Cambodian crew harvesting sweet corn using a Veg-Veyor, our vegetable conveyor. The crew walks behind this tractor-pulled conveyor and places the harvested ears of corn on the conveyor.   The conveyor brings the corn up to a wagon where two people are waiting to catch it, count it and crate it.   It’s hot, scratchy work.

Harvested corn traveling up the belt and into the wagon where it is being counted into crates.  The wagon is then driven back to our packing shed, the crates are unloaded and carted into a walk-in cooler.