Jones' Farmer Blog

Behind the scenes and lessons at Jones Family Farms in Shelton, CT

Sweet corn is here!

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Native sweet corn at the veggie stand – a crowd favorite!

It’s that time of the summer we’ve all been waiting for – native sweet corn has arrived at local farm stands and markets! Our vegetable stand is currently overflowing with summer squash, herbs, beets, potatoes, and sweet corn as the New England growing season kicks into high gear. Native sweet corn is ready to harvest in Connecticut from mid-July through September, and is picked fresh daily for our vegetable stand.

So how does this quintissential summer vegetable grow in the fields? Corn is actually a member of the grass family, along with wheat, rice, oats and many other plants. Grasses are pollinated by the wind, so farmers don’t need to rely on bees or other animals to pollinate the plants as they do with fruits. Corn pollen is carried by the wind from the tassels at the very top of the plant to the silks at the top of each developing ear of corn. Each silk is attached to a kernel, so pollen must land on each strand of silk for all of the kernels to develop on an ear of corn. This is why farmers usually plant corn in blocks rather than long thin rows – so pollen blowing in the breeze will have a better chance of landing on all of the silks!

Pollen is carried on the wind from tassels to silk

Corn can be enjoyed fresh, grilled, in soups, and many other ways! What is your favorite way to eat corn in the summer?

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