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August is a Time for Sweet Corn Goodness

Hey folks, August is the last full month of the summer and is generally the hottest month of the year. August's first full moon is called the Sturgeon Moon. It will reach peak illumination on the night of Tuesday, August 1. It's also one of the four supermoons of 2023.

August is the time to reap what we have sown in gardens or farm fields. Harvesting goes until we receive a killing frost, so for the next 10-12 weeks, let's all enjoy the harvest. However, remember that this year has had many challenges with a drier spring and three weeks with no measurable rainfall. This year's crop will be inconsonant, especially for the ever-popular sweet corn. Most farmers plant sweet corn on five-to-seven-day planting schedules. The theory is to keep the sweet corn harvest for 10 to 12 weeks.

There are many experts who argue about what sweet corn is. When sweet corn is grown with natural methods like our farm vegetables, it is nutritious. Nutrition in fruits and vegetables in recent decades has been decreasing because of modern farm practices and expanded synthetic fertilizer usage.

For generations, sweet corn was in full demand for the season-long harvest period. Unfortunately, for the last decade, it seems that when we get past Labor Day in early September the sweet corn sales really drop off. The truth is the sweet corn varieties harvested in September and October can be the best of the season.

Sweet corn has several varieties and three flavors: bi-color, yellow or white. Yellow sweet corn contains slightly more nutritional value than white sweet corn because of the pigments that make corn yellow. The bi-color sweet corn gives you the best of yellow and white kernel corn. Supersweet varieties are crisp and succulent with exceptionally high sugar content and tenderness. Supersweets also hold the sweetness for days longer, just like it was freshly picked. Supersweets are a growing favorite, so ask your favorite farms what they raise.

One comment I hear on why people avoid sweet corn is the fear of GMOs. Well, the truth is there is GMO sweet corn sold in stores. However, the above family farms don't raise or sell GMO sweet corn. Our homegrown sweet corn is Wexford's “best kept secret” for its natural nutritional values.

When you purchase from area farms, it's a simple two-step from farm to table. With each succeeding generation, there seem to be fewer home gardens, and if you are concerned about how, what, where, and why about growing corn, go to an area farm and get your questions answered.

Like most gardens, our farm fields are a salad bar for deer, groundhogs, and raccoons. These three critters really like sweet corn, and the damage starts 10 to 12 days before the sweet corn is ready to harvest. The critters also hope for a 10 -12-week harvest period to continue to forage the fields for their expanded palates.

Years ago, we partnered with Thoma Meat Market in Saxonburg to make our homemade pork, beef, and lamb products. We also stock our meat case with Thoma's homemade products. We are a one-two punch if you are grilling and seeking homemade local meats.

Our farm market is open seven days a week and an accessible destination, so feel free to stop by Eichner's Whole Farm and Greenhouses at 285 Richard Road in Wexford and get "the rest of the story."

By Ron Eichner

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