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Our sweet corn business is making a comeback

It’s a character-building business and we’re happy to give that opportunity to our kids.

After ten years or so, the signs have been retrieved from the Quonset and washed off. The change box was re-filled, the box of plastic sacs retrieved from the basement. The latest freezer that doesn’t freeze has been pushed out to the east porch.

I guess we’re back into fresh market sweet corn.

For several years after college, I sold sweet corn off the back porch, at three stands in local towns and the produce auction. At the peak, I raised about 5 acres. Income from the sweet corn along with my part-time contract engineering gig bridged the gap until acreage was sufficient to support us. The season ran from about the second week of July until mid-August.

Have I mentioned how much work it was? Planting weekly, keeping the weeds out, and watching for insects is the easy part. Character is built by picking corn every morning- rain or shine. As parents of home-school kids we are glad to give our children this learning opportunity. However, it’s only day two and the energy is waning.

This is a trial year. In order to continue, the kids are going to have to run it. We will also have to build an electrified fence so we don’t have to share the bounty with the raccoons. They seem to be immune to radio blaring, lime or sticky substances on the perimeter, human hair scattered about, 1 and 2 wire electric fence, and cayenne/hot sauce. You name it, we’ve tried it.

When searching for seed I chose to remain non-GMO. I was in awe of how many varieties have glyphosate or insect genes. I was also surprised the hybrids I knew all those years ago were still available. So, I stayed with what I knew and threw in a little new.

I am unsure of the scale this may grow to. Will the kids decide to add different garden items? Will we expand beyond the back porch? Only time will tell.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.

TAGS: Vegetables
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