Archive for Friday, June 24, 2011

Sweet corn arriving on local markets next week

June 24, 2011


The bulk of Douglas County’s 25,000 acres or so of corn will go toward fueling vehicles or feeding livestock, but a tiny fraction of the harvest will drive an entirely different and much more demanding engine: our collective tastebuds.

Sweet corn is set to arrive on the local market next week, and area residents are looking forward to the relatively small — but still very prominent — harvest.

“That’s what we all think about when we think of corn: We think of sweet corn,” said Bill Wood, director of K-State Research & Extension in Douglas County, and fan of the tasty ears. “I’m glad people grow it, because I enjoy it.”

Fewer than 100 acres countywide are reserved for the sweet stuff, stalks reaching for the sky from seeds carefully planted nearly three months ago.

At Bismarck Gardens, Mary Ross and her colleagues in the family business anticipate selling sweet corn beginning Wednesday at their market north of Lawrence, at 1616 N. 1700 Road. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, the crew will be busy welcoming dozens of shoppers a day.

Wednesday’s anticipated opening will start with bags of calico corn, to be followed by yellow corn soon after Independence Day and then white corn a week after that.

Each bag is marketed as including a dozen ears of corn, which means a baker’s dozen to the folks doing the work.

“We put 13 in, just to be sure you have plenty,” Ross said.

Challenges posed by weather, insects and disease couldn’t keep the crop from producing “good, average sweet corn,” Ross said. Bismarck Gardens, entering its 29th year of operations, is set to harvest 35 acres of sweet corn through the first week of August.

Ted Grinter, well known for growing sunflowers alongside his home between Lawrence and Tonganoxie, said that his three acres of sweet corn were a little behind schedule. He hopes to be selling his ambrosia variety by July 4.

“My wife says, ‘Don’t plant anything other than ambrosia,” said Grinter, who describes the variety as especially sweet. “She only eats it one or two times per year, and it has to be perfect.”


Eugehne Normandin 6 years, 8 months ago

I would show Mrs. Grinter to the door if my corn was not good enough to eat all the time.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 8 months ago

hot diggety! pass the butter & those little corn handle thingys. sweet corn season is here!

John Reher 6 years, 8 months ago

The corn from Bismarck gardens is the best I've ever tasted.

Alceste 6 years, 8 months ago

"The bulk of Douglas County’s 25,000 acres or so of corn will go toward fueling vehicles....":

What a scam: Costs more to produce this type of corn than the "energy" it produces with respect to gasohol; the farmers growing the stuff get WELFARE from the USDA; the land it's grown on gets raped (and all that PETROLEUM based fertilizer they use runs into the water supply); the farmers who grow the stuff also own the ethanol production facilities so are getting paid THREE times (1x via WELFARE; 1x at "the market"; 1x when they sell the "end product" of a useless "alternative fuel" that reduces the mpg of any vehicle it goes in by about 40%); blah, blah, blah.

This absurd stranglehold these wealthy farmers have on the market place is obscene: It raises the price of feed corn so that raises the price of meat, chicken, pork and dang near everything else. King Corn......way to go Kansas......NOT. Won't ever put one thimble of that junk in any internal combustion engine we own. Iowa's worse: The farmers there got the state to mandate ALL gasoline is at least 10% cornahol....what a racket.....what a racket.....

These guys selling the stuff people eat? That's a different story.....

Bobo Fleming 6 years, 8 months ago

One of the best reasons to live in Kansas. Sweet Corn. I like it fresh. If I could do it I would set up a stove at the end of the row and cook it there. People in Kansas dont know about California fresh picked oranges. People in California dont know about Kansas Corn. Corn and Jayhawks. Life is sweet.

Sarah St. John 6 years, 8 months ago

Even better senegal -- boil up your water on your end-of-the-row stove, then bend the nearest cornstalk so that the top ear dips into the water for the required (SHORT!) amount of time. (Husk it first, of course!) Now THAT would be fresh!

blindrabbit 6 years, 8 months ago

senegal: In every state I've lived in (10 thus far), the locals claim the local produce is the best! To be honest, I can't tell a whits difference; the three crops that seem to attract the most bragging: Corn, tomatoes and peaches. Also, if you look into agricultural production (by State), Kansas does not rank high in sweet corn production for either the processed or "fresh market.

Alceste 6 years, 8 months ago

You is a smart person, blindrabbit......good on you! Don't you know that everything in Lawrence is "World Class"......????!!!

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