Harvest Your Sweet Corn Sweet!





If you’re anything like me you absolutely love sweet corn.  When I was just a little tyke my great grandfather used to grow 2 full acres of his own sweet corn.  When he harvested the sweet corn and other veggies he used to grow, he would put it alongside the road in his little veggie “hut”, put some ridiculously low prices on everything, and sit and watch as the people of our very small community stopped and gobbled it all up!  So of course when I had a bit of space to grow a couple rows I jumped right on it!

One thing about sweet corn is that it’s a bit difficult to tell when it’s ready for harvest.  So I’ve put some info, and helpful hints together to help those of you who’ve just begun to grow sweet corn…

  1. Start by looking at the silky fibers that look like hair at the tip of the ear. If they’ve turned brown, but you can see a little green where they disappear under the corn husks that enclose the ear, it may be ready.  I call this the “silk test”!
  2. If the ear passes the “silk test”, the next step is to feel the ear. If the ear is firm and fat, it is probably filled out.
  3. To be sure the kernels are mature and ready for harvest, pull back a little bit of the husk and “pop” one of the kernels. If the liquid that emerges is “milky” it’s done, but if it is clear the corn is too young. 
  4. Remember, corn that’s picked in the morning seems to be the sweetest. Hold the stalk with one hand and pull the ear down, twisting as you pull. The ear should pop right off, and voila it’s ready to eat, and if you don’t eat them right away be sure to refrigerate to lock in the sweetness!

***Note, most of these tips can be used when selecting your sweet corn in the grocery store as well!!

For me sweet corn is a simple summer pleasure that I grew up with, but it’s also super easy, and fun to grow.  So if you grew your own this summer for the first time I hope these tips help when you harvest, and if you didn’t grow maybe you will next year.

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