Sunday, July 18, 2010

INCREDIBLE Sweet Corn...Let the Freezing Begin

Last week my family gathered at the farm to freeze the first sweet corn of the season.

I took way too many photos (check out my Wordless Wednesday post from last week) and am having trouble editing them to just one post. So, I've decided to stretch it out into several posts over the week.

It all starts with the corn! A co-worker asked me what variety of sweet corn my dad planted this year and she rattled off three or four varieties. After seeing the blank look on my face, she shook her head and said "Never mind."

Truth be told, I hadn't seen an actual ear of corn off the stalk yet and hadn't asked what variety of sweet corn Dad planted this year. I just knew it was sweet corn and it was going to be GOOD!

Once on the farm with camera in hand, I went out to the field with Dad and asked what variety we were he was picking. I found out it was Incredible, a yellow corn. After a quick search on Purdue's web site, I found out that Incredible is a sugar-enhanced variety. According to the web site, "Sugar-enhanced (se) sweet corn has a higher sugar content and is more tender than standard sweet corn."
From the photo above, you may be wondering why the corn in front is shorter than the corn in the background. The reason is that the corn in the front is sweet corn and the corn in the back is field corn (or dent corn) which stays in the field until it's dried down in the fall and is used for livestock feed and processing (starch, alcohol and sugars).

Unlike most folks who plant a few rows of sweet corn in their gardens by hand, my dad uses a bit bigger piece of equipment - like a 12-row planter pulled by a very big tractor! This year, he planted five rows of sweet corn along the two short sides of the field closest to the house. He also has patches in a couple of other fields planted a bit later so we can enjoy sweet corn throughout the summer.

So, how does you know when the sweet corn is ready? Dad said that he looks at the size of the ears and squeezes the ear to see if it's firm. He also admitted that he "spot shucks" a couple of ears right on the stalk to make sure it looks ready to go!

This year the ears were slightly smaller than normal - probably because of the tremendous amount of rain we got early in the season and the lack of rain we've gotten in the last several weeks.

Note the 5-gallon bucket in his hand below. These buckets are staples around our farm. In my lifetime, I've seen them used for everything from gathering sweet corn from the field to transporting baby pigs. They are an essential tool on the farm!

Dad picked six buckets of corn for our first evening of freezing.

Tomorrow, the shucking begins! Stay tuned.


  1. I'm now following your fun blog from the Blog Hop! Feel free to follow back at :)

  2. I was using my un-tucked t-shirt to haul corn out of the field and wishing I had my Grandma L.'s apron! We plant ours the same way! Great explanation for those not used to the "unfinished" product! ;-)

  3. wow, that's a lot of corn. I bet that it is delicious!!! I love your big yard.. my god.. I can't wait to get out of this city!!!
    Have a great week of shucking!

  4. Funny story about the bucket - a preschooler at school brought in some corn for the "sensory table" (the kids play tractors in the corn) and he immediately told the teacher, "My dad needs his bucket back." We're a little possessive about those around here!

  5. I love sweet corn but a few years ago I was told I couldn't eat it any longer just love to smell it growing on a hot day. Sure did pick a lot through the years. We also planted it on the end of one of the fields and sold a ton of it.



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