Monday, July 21, 2008

Fresh Corn on the Cob

On the way back from working at the beach I try to stop at my favorite Farmers Roadside Stand. The Little Wagon produce stand is on 404 about 7 miles East of Denton, MD. Run by the Vanderwende family I've been buying corn from them for about the last eight years.

Being a farmer has got to be a lot tougher than being a restaurateur. These guys work like sled dogs and are constantly at the mercy of the weather.

According to son Breck (holding the basket of fresh picked corn), they pick the corn every morning prior to opening the stand. The corn is picked by hand and sorted right in the field. On an average Saturday Breck, his dad, an uncle and a couple of others will pick 5,000 ears of corn in about 3 hours. That's a lot of corn. An acre, weather cooperating, will produce about 10,000 ears of corn. To make sure it's fresh they plant, starting in late March, every 5 days or so. Freshly picked corn is so sweet that you can eat it raw and it tastes like candy.

This year again they're fighting the weather and the birds. With a shortage of water the birds are looking every where for moisture. So they scratch at the top of the corn cob exposing about 1 - 2 inches of corn. As a result the corn at the top turns black and attracts bugs. Scratch one ear of corn.

If the weather holds they will be picking corn until mid October.

We will be offering the Vanderwende's corn all week long at Mango's.

Right down the road is Elmer's Market. Don't even think of stopping there - rude owners.


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