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It's Sweet Corn Season!

Our homegrown Butter & Sugar Sweet Corn is picked fresh from our fields every morning and available at our retail stand on Four Mile Drive, fresh Monday-Saturday.   


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“‘Knee High by the Fourth of July’ - more like shoulder high by the 16th of June” 

We’ve all heard the age old wives tale stating knee high by the Fourth of July referring to corn. But that’s exactly what it is - an old wives tale. The phrase "knee high by the Fourth of July" is an old agricultural saying that refers to corn that is knee high by Independence Day. In the past, corn that was knee high by the Fourth of July was thought to indicate a good crop yield for the year. However, the phrase has become outdated due to advancements in technology and crop management. Today, we can expect corn to grow much taller than knee high by the Fourth of July. In fact, knee-high corn in late June or early July can even be a sign of trouble for us.
Timing of sweet corn is another example of just how much knowledge we as farmers need to be successful in this field. Timing of sweet corn is critical, if not the most critical aspect of being a sweet corn farmer. We need to ensure a constant supply for our customers. If we plant too close, all of our corn will mature at the same time. If we plant too far apart, we will have gaps in our supply. Every year we use the formula for calculating our GDD, Growing degree days. We calculate the high and low air temperature each day by using our min/max thermometer systems. Add those figures together and divide by two, giving us the average temperature each day. From that, we subtract the 50 degree base temperature below which the crop doesn’t grow. What remains is the GDD for that day. We total up the daily GDD after our plantings and that gives us how many growing days we’ve accumulated, meaning just how many more we need until harvest. Luckily, we have the smartest farmer I know behind our sweet corn: John Tebbs. With over 55 years under his belt, he’s nailed down his timing as accurately as possible (knowing full well, the big man upstairs can throw wrenches in every once in a while with the weather ).
So - when will we harvest??
We are in the growth stage of sweet corn know as silking. Silking begins when the silk is visible outside the husk. Did you know that annoying silk you have to remove from the corn is the most important part of kernel growth? Each silk string is attached to a future kernel. The pollen from the tassel falls down onto the sticky silk and the silk then fertilizes the future kernel. Typically sweet corn is ready 20 days after pollen shed - we entered pollen shed about 5-6 days ago meaning we are LESS THAN TWO WEEKS OUT! As stated before, weather is in control but in a perfect world with the right amount of moisture and heat we will be sinking our teeth into corn on the cob soon! It’s supposed to be extremely hot this week which will help push it along. So in conclusion, next time you hear knee high by the Fourth of July - use this post to kindly correct them  If you didn’t know before, well now you do!
✌️ See you all soon with corn 🌽

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