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Native Corn

Any native corn yet? Anywhere? Please!

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  1. Havent seen any but was at local farm on Capeann today and they said next week !!! Oh happy day!!!

    1. Saw some at the Waltham farmer's market today. It's just starting to show up.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Allstonian

        saw some friday at the lowell farmers' market. still small, but should be bigger and better soon.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          hotoynoodle, Lowell is my go-to FM but I skipped it the other day since it was the season opener and sometimes such events are disorganized the first day, or not all the vendors show up. How was it, and how did it compare to last year?

          1. re: greygarious

            frankly, there wasn't a whole lot of product -- only 2 farms had set-ups, plus a guy selling bread out of truck. we did get some organic butter, bacon and eggs.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              are there usually any asian growers with asian vegetables at lowell?

              1. re: qianning

                last year, yes. that was my first year going, and they had all sorts of cool greens.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  They had South American (or perhaps it was Caribbean) produce as well.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    headed to lowell this afternoon, thanks for the info.

                    1. re: qianning

                      Please note hotoynoodle's upthread post: last wwek (the first day of the season for the Lowell FM) there were only 2 farms there. Last year there were usually 5-7.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        noted. anyway, i need to go to battambang today for some other things, so i'll probably swing by the market to check it out...does anyone know which farms were there last week?

                        1. re: qianning

                          not much in the way of asian veggies today, the only two i saw were shanghai bok choi (i.e. all green), and fishwort.

      2. Pretty early, and the lack of sunshine isn't promising for the sugar production needed for good sweet corn. Hopefully we 'll get some better weather and the later harvests will be better.

        1. Verrill Farm had CT corn today that looked good if that's sufficiently local.

          1. Isn't corn in these parts "knee high by the fourth of July"? Add the crappy weather to that and it may be awhile until we really get into the thick of it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: purple bot

              You are right, although last year I noted that it was 6ft by Independence Day. Haven't driven by the cornfield yet but since the cool, wet weather has delayed things I am biding my time. We are always admonished to eat what's in season and while local corn is available in mid-July, it's best in August-September.

              1. re: greygarious

                I grew up on a corn farm north of Boston, and the first corn is always just about ready the first week of August (I would often sweat it out - hoping we'd have it for my August 4th birthday!).

            2. Had some from the Wakefield farmer's market this weekend.

              Warning: wet weather is not good for corn flavor. Corn just gets big and fat; looks nice, of course, but the flavor is diluted and feeble. The best corn flavor happens when weather is abnormally dry without being a proper drought.

              This rule also often obtains for tree fruits...

              7 Replies
              1. re: Karl S

                I wondered if you got to Wakefield for the Market. Unfortunately the CSF pick-up in Ipswich trumps a Saturday Farmers Market stop. Maybe I'll get there in September.

                1. re: Karl S

                  in fact, corn will do as poorly in abnormally dry weather as it will in abnormally wet conditions. trees have much deeper root systems and will "maintain" longer during extended bouts of drought. ideally, for a corn crop, farmers like to see a nice balance of warmth and seasonal rain averages. typically, this can be applied to most other crops as well. you must be a city slicker, karl.

                  1. re: mrwhiskers

                    Well, I goes by my own eyes and tastebuds and about three decades of gardening myself and shopping at farmstands. This is not book learning but my own experience, later ratified by talking with farmers and orchard folk. I suspect your "abnormally dry" is a "drought" in my book. YMMV.

                  2. re: Karl S

                    I couldn't make it to Wakefield last Saturday. Karl, what do you think of that market?

                    1. re: Chris VR

                      I expected more produce - there was one medium size stand and one small stand for produce. A very nice fish stand, and the Swiss bakery from Reading, and some crafts. Parking moves (I had wondered) but I wish they made everyone depart with a right turn....

                    2. re: Karl S

                      Was that local MA corn that Farmer Dave had? I didn't ask, because the stall was so busy. But I got about 6 ears; very very small and not tasty at all.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Well, the corn at the Melrose market today was from Hadley: the river bottom in the central Connecticut River valley tends to be the warmest soil in the region (which is why it's long been a tobacco region).

                    3. Careful, some maybe 'native' but, not local. Corn from Western MA but, it looses flavor in route and is usually very starchy. Locally grown is about 2 wks +/- away.

                      1. Wagon Wheel had some CT corn on Saturday - pretty good.
                        They said their local supply would start the last week of July or the first week of August.

                        1. Corn season just started in the pioneer valley. Ears are smallish - definitely early corn - about $5 a dozen. I was just there, and the small farm stands were putting corn out.

                          A farmer friend of mine out there says the rain has put the season about two weeks behind.

                          makiman

                          1. Bought the first sweet corn of the season (for us, anyway) this afternoon at Connors Farm in Danvers. Hardly needed to be cooked at all. Absolutely delicious. The strawberries for sale were from Nova Scotia, but there were people in the fields picking the last of the farm crop.

                            1. Saw some at the Davis Square farmer's market today (from Hanson's farm). Also got some in my share from Enterprise Farm (although they didn't appear to have any for sale at the farmer's market).

                              1. There was some at the Davis Farmers' Market for 75 cents per ear. I have to admit, I've had mixed experiences with corn from various growers at the Farmers' market. The Silver Queen which comes out later in the summer is the only one that's been consistently good. Does anyone know where Market Basket gets their corn? It's consistently good even early in the season so I'm assuming it's not local.

                                Regarding "knee high by the 4th of July"- perhaps we should think of a new rhyme taking global warming into account?

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: Parsnipity

                                  Well, this year, I've seen a lot of corn that was only ankle high on 7/4. Climate and weather being very distinct things. What I've noticed is that the season extends more commonly into early October than it used to - it used end around the equinox, 3 of the past 4 years have seen local corn available the week of Columbus Day.

                                  1. re: Karl S

                                    not sure, but i think that has a lot more to do with the new seed varieties that can withstand light frost, and especially, shorter daylight hours, thus extending the season. you definitely are correct that the "season" ends later than it used to.

                                    1. re: qianning

                                      That would help explain it. While we've gained a week or two at each end of the growing season since I moved to Boston a generation ago (Boston's now like what LI used to be), there remains a treacherous stretch before mid-June that can still be rather hostile to heat-loving plants and cause not merely retardation but failure.

                                      1. re: Karl S

                                        for sure mid-may to mid-june is a tough call around here, if the weather is good, there's a huge jump start to crops, if not they not they can be a total loss.

                                        by the way most commercial farmers are going to space seeding corn over a fairly long period, and i know the farmer i buy from plants different varieties depending on when the crop is seeded/estimated for maturity, it is interesting to me how different the corn is over time in a given season, and how clear a difference there can be between varieties that come in just a week or so apart.

                                        1. re: qianning

                                          Oh, yeah, I've seen the progression of seeding in fields from mid-May through early July. And silage corn has its own variations, of course. I've followed USDA crop reports for years (except for a couple of years when they made it difficult to access):

                                          http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_b...

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            one of the reasons i shop at lull farm iin hollis is that for tomato, summer squash and corn he posts the name of the exact variety with his product, not all "heirloom" tomatoes taste the same! ditto various hybrid and open pollinated corn.

                                            1. re: qianning

                                              Yes, Verrill Farm is typically specific about corn and tomato varieties that way.

                                              Btw, another growing season report reference tool:

                                              http://www.umassgreeninfo.org/landsca...

                                  2. re: Parsnipity

                                    what global warming, I'm still waiting for summer.

                                    1. re: treb

                                      Better term is climate change - which, IMO, we've been experiencing for many years. Global warming isn't descriptive enough. (But then again, although it says it all, I don't think "Oh, S***, What the H*** Is Happening to Our Planet???!!!" could really be used too much...)

                                      Getting back on topic, I got some fresh corn that turned out to be pretty good, at the Lynn Farmer's Market. I forgot to ask if it was native - or, (even better, as the op suggested), local. If I go next week, I will def. ask...

                                      1. re: treb

                                        It's global warming, not local warming...changing weather patterns lead to different dynamics in different regions.

                                        1. re: AHan

                                          As I noted earlier in this thread, there's a difference between climate and weather....

                                    2. Got some great corn in Deerfield last weekend!!! Ears were a little small but very sweet and they told you take some extras because they knew it was small. LIke someone else noted - the river keeps the soil warmer and usually always have corn by mid-july.

                                      1. Lindeloff Farm stand Rockport has it with a big sign that says " yes this is our corn" Ears look good Taste test later tonite

                                        1. I got my first native corn of the summer yesterday at Flint Farms in Mansfield. The ears were small, but the corn was delicious. $6 a dozen.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: winedude

                                            Very good corn from Stillmans at the Quincy Market last Friday.

                                            1. re: winedude

                                              $6/dozen at Russo's too this weekend - that seems awfully expensive, no?

                                              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                yeah. 50 cents an ear?

                                                had "local" littleton corn the other day. it was very small tight kernels. meh for flavor, but i wasn't yet hoping for much!

                                                soon!

                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                  Well... Connors farm had western Massachusetts corn for 59 cents an ear last Saturday. Large ears, sweet corn. Have to say it was deliclous.

                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                    It was actually 60 cents an ear - but $6/dozen.

                                              2. Allandale Farm in Brookline sent out an email today (7/20) announcing their 1st corn of the season.

                                                1. I picked up 2 dozen ears at Gove Farm in Leominster on my way to visit the inlaws yesterday. $6.60/dozen. The ears are definitely smaller than usual.

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: liamsaunt

                                                    I also picked up Gove Corn on Sunday. They were smaller than I have ever seen. And definitely the worst Gove Corn I have ever had. I think Gove has the best corn - bar none -but this past Sunday was a MAJOR disappointment.

                                                    1. re: RandyL

                                                      Well, get used to it unless we have a major continued improvement in weather.

                                                      1. re: RandyL

                                                        I completely agree! I only ate one ear. The rest is still sitting in the fridge. Just another reason to be mad about the lousy weather.

                                                        1. re: liamsaunt

                                                          you know storing in the fridge is a terrible idea? it totally accelerates the sugars turning to flavorless starch and making not-so-good corn even worse. you should use them day you get them.

                                                          we got our 1st local csa corn in lowell yesterday and it was quite good, if smallish.

                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                            There's not nearly that much corn today at farmstands that is not already sugar enhanced and quite sugar stable compared to the old corn one had to have a boiling pot of water near the field.

                                                            And I'd love to know your source for the information that refrigeration speeds up rather than slows down the conversion process.

                                                            1. re: Karl S

                                                              apparently i am mistaken. my apologies. although what i did find with my google-fu is that when corn is picked, the ratio of sugar to starch is 80%-20%. within 3 days, it is completely reversed. refrigeration indeed will slow this down some, but mediocre corn certainly won't get better sitting in the fridge.

                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                And most modern supersugary hybrids - which tend to dominate markets (super and farmers) don't get that far in the conversion process as quickly, due both to their genetic makeup and increased refrigeration.

                                                    2. Verrill Farms blog today says they have corn (I think the corn I saw on Saturday was still the CT stuff).

                                                      1. I bought some nice corn last Friday at the Quincy Farmer's Market/Stillman's. Yum. Ate it all myself!

                                                        1. Got some local corn from Ward's Berry Farm yesterday at the Harvard University Farmers Market and ate it last night sauteed with kale. It was spectacular -- best corn I've had this season, by far. I didn't ask what variety it was, but the kernels were plum and sweet. It was pricey though -- $3.50 / 6 ears, $7 / 13 ears.

                                                          1. I received an email this morning stating that Parlee Farm in Tyngsboro MA. now has their fresh picked corn available in their farmstand. The email stated that they grow over 10 varieties of corn on over 10 acres of land. I went to Parlee Farm twice last year and their fresh picked corn was good last year. I'm not too sure about this years corn crop with all the rain and cold days we have had.

                                                            -----
                                                            Parlee Farm
                                                            95 Farwell Rd, Tyngsboro, MA

                                                            1. Yesterday I went to Farmer Dave's farmstand in Tewksbury, which is adjacent to large cornfields that last summer were over 6ft tall at the start of July. They are a good 2 ft shorter now, so I took a pass on the small ears of corn and settled for salad ingredients.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                That's from whom I bought the 6 ears of tiny corn at the Wakefield Farmer's market several weeks ago. Did the cornstalks look like they were bearing fruit yet? I had assumed I got "native but not local" corn at the Wakefield farmers market.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  Come to think of it, the stalks in the field nearest the road seemed less densely-leaved than harvest-ready ones, so maybe not - I was driving so wan't looking closely. But there are at least 3 different fields in the area, perhaps with different varieties and I don't recall whether or not the corn in the store was labeled as their own. I'll pay closer attention next time and report back.

                                                              2. Volante's in Needham had their own corn for sale today.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: emilief

                                                                  Cucurbit Farm is Acton now has its own corn for sale. Haven't tried it yet.

                                                                2. On Connors Farm web site they're advertising, "Breaking News...Corn is in." Doesn't say if it's theirs or not. Also, PYO Raspberries and Blueberries... and,
                                                                  "Our tomato crop looks to be the best ever."
                                                                  We'll see tomorrow.

                                                                  1. Sergi Farm in Belmont has corn now; we picked up a couple of ears yesterday. One was great with big plump kernels; the other had smaller kernels and was not as tasty.

                                                                    1. Just picked up 6 ears of "native corn" at Calareso's in Reading. $.59/ear. When I asked, was told they were from western MA. When I asked one of the kids stocking the cart of corn if he'd tried it, he said "cooked? No. But I've been eating them raw and they're really sweet!" So I figured a half dozen for $3.60 couldn't hurt. Decent sized corn as well.