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Ontario Corn...is it at the markets yet?

I saw some trimmed corn labelled, 'Ontario' at a small fruit and veg. store yesterday. I haven't been to a farmers' market lately...is it in yet? What's the $/dozen?

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  1. I bought some last Sunday at the Distillery district market, 1/2 doz for 4 bucks... I was worried as the cobs looked large and the cucumbers he had were shrink wrapped.. but I have to tell you that corn was the best corn Ive had in years... the kernals were small and tender but with great taste! Loved it!

    But all in all I would not go back to the Distillery Market, very few food stalls and only one was a farmer the others were Toffee, herbs, baked goods, etc... only about 6 booths in total..

    1. Theres a guy that parks his pickup on Birchmount north of Sheppard that sells corn, and Ill tell you, last year it was consistantly the best corn Ive ever had, I think its from a farm in Pickering or something like that. Anyway, I drove by the spot last week, still not there, so Ill check again next week but im really looking forward to it!

      Oh, and this guy would charge $5 a dozen, $3 for 1/2 dozen. I usually get 13-14 in the dozen:)

      20 Replies
      1. re: jmarcroyal

        That seems like an attractive price, given that Ontario corn - both inside and outside of the St. Lawrence (north) Market - was selling for from 75 cents to $1 a cob early this morning - slightly less for a larger quantities.

        1. re: juno

          I think its very reasonable, especially considering the quality. I believe the guy working the truck said they pick the corn fresh that morning, load up the truck and bring it to the city to sell it. Doesnt get much better then that!

          1. re: jmarcroyal

            Crooks. $12/dozen? It's a bit early for the good stuff.

            1. re: Kagemusha

              It's a sellers' market...like the first of any crop when it first comes to market. I'm sure that their prices will drop when it's more plentiful. Gotta make a buck when you can.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                With the lack of rain if it really is Ontario corn it's gonna be pricey, diesel fuel to run the tractor to drive the water pump to water the crop isn't cheap even at the discounted farmers price, and it takes a lot of water to get good corn.

              2. re: jmarcroyal

                @JM -- What day/time does this guy sell? At least, based on last year's schedule, since you haven't seen him yet this year.

                1. re: AverageJo

                  Well I get out of work at 2 and hes always there at that time, but I think he gets there at around 11 or 12, maybe even a bit earlier. Id say he'd be there at 12 for sure but when they start coming out Ill ask and give you a real answer.

                  *Ill also say they had plenty of varieties of corn, from Yellow to Sweet to Super Sweet to Bi-Color to Tri-Color to who knows what other names. It depends on the day and what crops are ready I suppose, but I cant say I was disappointed at all by any of em.

                  1. re: AverageJo

                    The corn guy has arrived!

                    I stopped by today and the truck was there, on Birchmount north of Sheppard. I had to stop by and grab a dozen, and now after downing about 4 corn, I just gotta say it was still very good!

                    I have had sweeter corn from these guys but this corn was very good. The corn cobs were maybe a bit on the smaller size, but the kernals were nice sized and the taste was great. Today they had a tri-color(peaches and cream type).

                    The prices are the same as last year, $3 for 6 corn, $5 for a dozen(I may have grabbed 13 or 14, dont tell!).

                    The guy selling the corn said they work Monday-Saturday, starting from around 12pm until 6pm or whenever they sell out. They should keep selling their corn until around the first frost, so Corn Season is officially here!!

                    Also, there are a few trucks throughout Scarborough at the following locations:

                    Meadowvale and Sheppard
                    Brimley and Ellesmere
                    Birchmount and Sheppard(north of Sheppard on Birchmount)
                    Kingston and Markham

                    And, the corn is grown by Sweet Ridge Farm

                    1. re: jmarcroyal

                      This corn was good, previous years, from a pickup truck at Meadowvale and Sheppard. The Reesor family grows it and their days doing this are numbered. http://dontai.com/wp/2009/08/27/corn-...
                      They make a good profit in fresh corn, but their farmland is becoming a national park, or even an airport.
                      The corn is fresher, richer, and less sweet (creamier) than supermarket corn, which I only buy in late winter, or spring.

                      1. re: jmarcroyal

                        I've also seen their trucks at Kingston at Sheppard (southwest corner, near the Shell station) as well as all over Pickering, where they compete with Stroud's.

                        Locations are hit-or-miss, just depends on how much they picked that morning and how many trucks they feel like sending. Only place you know you'll get it is to drive up to Steeles and Beare Rd where they have their permanent roadside stand (the page jayt90 linked to shows a map where it is). Sometimes the booth is manned, sometimes it's "honour system" (the trailer full of corn will be parked there and there's a wooden box to insert your money).

                        They don't seem to carry the supersweet kind like Strouds but their tricolor is excellent and their price is competitive. We'll buy a lot when it's at its cheapest (right now) and freeze the kernels (great for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner).

                        1. re: jmarcroyal

                          Picked up the sweet ridge farm corn yesterday at the corner of kingston and markham.

                          Yep, the ears were a little small but definitely sweet. I bet they will be bigger in the coming weeks.

                          1. re: jmarcroyal

                            Just to be sure, jmarcroyal, is the vendor at Brimley & Ellesmere the same as the one about whom you rave? It would be the most convenient to add to my food & wine hunting and gathering since it already fits into part of the route.

                            1. re: Googs

                              Should be, Googs. The article jay790 linked had a comment from a member of the family listing the truck locations, and they're the same as the ones jmarcroyal listed. Enjoy!

                              1. re: Googs

                                Yea Googs, it should be from the same farm, but I go to the Birchmount location myself. I actually stopped by today for another dozen!

                      2. re: jmarcroyal

                        That truck used to the one of the highlights of my summer when I lived in that 'hood. Much more reasonably priced than the vendors at Nathan Phillips and the other farmers' markets downtown, and EXCELLENT sweet corn.

                        1. re: jmarcroyal

                          Thanks for the tip, jmarcroyal, and the backing vocals wahooty. That he isn't there yet speaaks volumes. I think it's a wee early too and these other vendors are putting one over on people.

                          jmarcroyal, I hope to bump into you there.

                          1. re: Googs

                            Well, you just might run into me there, Last year after the first batch I was hooked, I was giving some to friends and family and they all loved it, so I ended up going atleast every Friday if not even more often, and Ill tell you, by the end of the season I was startin to get sick of it!

                            1. re: jmarcroyal

                              Hey, jmarcroyal, when think you're going I'd appreciate a quick post. I'd love to run into you. You and Scarberian have made the move from downtown to East York palatable.

                          2. re: jmarcroyal

                            Thank you very much for this Chowhound tip. I bought corn at 2pm from this location. On a rainy afternoon, it was great to be able to shop for just-picked corn within the city limits!

                            1. re: jmarcroyal

                              I wanted to stop back, jmarcroyal, and thank you for another great tip. In addition to the chop suey house Chinese delivery you told me of, this corn tip worked out well as well. I've had two terrific dinners with the corn purchased at Brimley & Ellesmere last weekend. It was so fresh that, while brushing it with seasoned butter before grilling, it squirted me! Fresh and absolutely delightful. Thank you.

                            2. I bought some at the North York Civic Centre market on Thursday. The cobs are on the small side and I haven't tried them yet. They were selling for $0.75 each or 3 for $2.


                              4 Replies
                              1. re: wontonfm

                                I finally tried the corn today (4 days after purchase) and it was pretty good. Definitely sweet despite being small. Thinking this may be a good corn season!


                                1. re: wontonfm

                                  When I was a kid I worked on a farm picking sweet corn... we were told the reason we had to pick it so early in the morning was that after it is picked until the time it is cooked the sugar in the kernals start converting to starch. And in the first few hours it loses half of its sweetness. We actually used to eat it raw in the feild just pulled from the stalk as it was so sweet... When I buy corm now, I eat it the same day to get the most flavour, I can even notice if I have some left over for the next day that it is anot as good as the previous day.

                                  1. re: RogerDoger

                                    i've heard that as well. I was surprised it was still sweet 4 days later! It would've been great the day-of.


                                    1. re: wontonfm

                                      That's totally true. I've grabbed corn picked that day just after the truck unloaded it at my Foodland in cottage country. We cooked it that night and it was amazing, but when friends picked up loads one time, we cooked some on the same day and the rest the next day. The ones cooked on the same day were definitely better than those that sat for a full day, even still in their husks.

                              2. I paid $6/dozen for Leamington corn at Joyce Farms stand at Hyde Park Rd & Royal York in London, ON earlier this week. Would expect to pay the same price at the various Farmers' Markets in London.

                                1. I've had Ontario corn last week from the Oshawa Civic Centre Farmers Market and from Linton Farms, north of Oshawa, today. Stroud's Farms on Lakeridge and Kingston Rd west of Ajax. The cobs were a bit on the small side, but that's what I would expect this early in the season.

                                  It isn't cheap, $5 to 7 a dozen and that's reflected in the increased cost of fertilizer. I do like fresh Ontario corn.

                                  1. I bought some at East Lynn Farmers Market on Thursday, July 14. It was delicious, but not as filled out as I would prefer, so I'm sure it's fabulous now. They were $7 for 12 or $4 for 6, and he threw a 13th in with my dozen! The fellow told me he'll have fresh corn until fall, owing to staggered plantings.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Full tummy

                                      I saw local corn in Windsor this week, but I am now at my cottage mid-way between Peterborough and Bancroft and the grocery stores are still selling "product of the USA" corn. I saw a few stray Ontario offerings at the Foodland in Lakefield on Friday and the kernels were still pretty small and predominantly white. I did not investigate the Essex produce in Windsor, but I'd guess that based on the sunny and hot summer days in the past month or so, it is much farther along in its development. That said, major chains in Windsor were still selling US corn, by and large, as of July 20, or so.

                                    2. Tried it from two vendors so far at the St. Catharines market, and yeah, it's still early. It's good, but not great... yet.

                                      1. Thanks for all the great information, everyone. Looks like next weekend may be a good time to look at the farmers' markets.

                                        1. I was disapointed as I made the trip out to the Leslieville Market today and out of all the vendors no one had Sweet Corn....

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: RogerDoger

                                            well, I guess it's good I didn't make it out there yesterday... Maybe next week!

                                          2. Pickering Market (Kingston Rd. across from T Phat) has good corn at $7/doz., plus peaches with a sign forbidding pinching!

                                            1. Got some at the SickKids Market today. Freshly picked this morning (make sure you ask - the same vendor had corn that was yesterday's pick too). Got some day-old ones to compare. Taste is much more intense for the fresher one. Good flavour, not super-sweet yet. Will be stalking the markets from here on in though.

                                              One booth had 'em at $6/doz and the other at $5/doz.

                                              Photo: http://www.foodpr0n.com/2011/07/26/fa...

                                              1. Super Sweet corn at Stroud Farms, $7/doz, just picked today.


                                                1. Glad to see that corn season has definitely arrived. Even some of the supermarkets are featuring for $1.99/dz. I went to Weston Farmers Market on Saturday and got some excellent stuff for $6/dz, along with lots of beautiful, fresh peaches and other vegetables. Of course, a back bacon on a kaiser was also in order from my favourite place, Grandpa Ken's ($4.00). The corn was delicious, by the way.

                                                  1. I paid $4 for a half dozen at Shouldice Farms in Ottawa. It put the raw kernels in a salad - sweet and delicious. Am looking forward to more!

                                                    PS - I hope people aren't still buying the American corn in the supermarkets...

                                                    1. Got some at a roadside stand (Hwy 47) in Goodwood Ontario on our way back from Richter's Herbs. Selling for $6/dozen. Soooo sweet and good. Their broccoli is also amazing. The fields are right next door.

                                                      1. All the recent reports seem to be from the east end of Toronto. Has anyone found good fresh Ontario corn in the west end?

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: mexivilla

                                                          There's always the markets at Sherway, Sq. 1, and Brampton. Highland Farms seems to carry a higher quotient of Ontario produce than the other chains--usually better quality, too. Not sure how far "west" you mean?

                                                          1. re: mexivilla

                                                            Is Weston Rd. far enough west for you, mexivilla? Every Saturday at the Weston Market, on John St. in Weston (just below the 401). Fresh corn from several farms.

                                                            1. re: Yongeman

                                                              I was not thrilled with what I tasted in the Kawartha's this week. The kernels were small and very pale in colour. The corn was sweet as sugar, but no snap to the kernels. The cobs with husks and silk looked large and robust, yet what was inside seemed a bit lackluster. $6 a dozen, or 50 cents a cob.

                                                          2. Does anyone sell fresh corn at The Brickworks? I don't recall seeing it there. Heading there first thing tomorrow morning on our way up north and I was hoping to pick some up.

                                                            1. I found fantastic corn at The Apple Market which is on the Queensway just east of Hurontario at Camilla Road. On the other hand really disappointed at corn at farmers market at Sheridan Mall on Fridays.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: mexivilla

                                                                I bought some great corn at Withrow Market last weekend, $6/doz . The woman who was selling it said her farm is near Strathroy.

                                                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                  bought some from KEG yesterday. Less-good than what I had two weeks ago at Sick Kids'

                                                              2. Reesor's Sweet Ridge corn is still available, until the end of the month, for $5/doz.
                                                                Excellent golden ears. I went to Steeles and Beare Rd (southwest corner) for mine, then across the road to Whittamore's for beefstake type field tomatoes.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: jayt90

                                                                  How much are the field tomatoes at Whittamores?

                                                                  1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                    $1. a lb. or $5 a basket of 14. They are medium size but similar to beefstake in flavor and juiciness.
                                                                    Whittamore's corn is $6 doz.