Toledo Talk

Sweet Corn!

It's finally sweet corn season!

Joyce's Farm Market has local bi-color sweet corn in daily. I am heading over there to get a bunch of it today.

I am so very, very happy.

created by gamegrrl on Jul 19, 2014 at 09:37:28 am     Food     Comments: 28

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Report back on the quality! I've been waiting for some good sweet corn

posted by taliesin52 on Jul 19, 2014 at 09:48:56 am     #  

I definitely will! I've found that "local" doesn't always mean local, and that "fresh" doesn't always mean fresh. I'm always dubious until I taste it for myself. I grew up eating sweet corn fresh from the garden, so I am a tough room.

:-)

posted by gamegrrl on Jul 19, 2014 at 09:56:44 am     #  

Seems a bit early for truly local. Do keep us posted!

posted by toledonative on Jul 19, 2014 at 10:09:40 am     #  

That's what I thought, too. I called to ask if it's truly local (which, technically, is 80 miles or closer), and they said it's from Palmyra, MI, which is up near Adrian. That works for me.

posted by gamegrrl on Jul 19, 2014 at 10:26:29 am     #  

Oh, and they get it delivered fresh every morning.

posted by gamegrrl on Jul 19, 2014 at 10:27:08 am     #  

The best time to eat sweet corn is immediately after it's picked, or as close as possible to the day that it was picked.

The starches or whatever in the sweet corn that make it taste great start to go bad soon after it's picked. I think that's what a farmer told me. I've noticed a taste difference after a few days.

The local farmers planted their sweet corn in May. I saw a Facebook post that said Dave Bench planted sweet corn on May 6. So sweet corn sold in the Toledo area prior to late June was probably not grown locally.

In the past, I've bought Bench's sweet corn at the Thursday night Perrysburg farmers market. They picked their sweet corn on Thursday, or if the weather forecast was off, they picked on Wednesday.

Eating the sweet corn that evening was amazing. After only a few days, the sweet corn still tasted good, but not like those first couple days after buying it.

Freezing sweet corn makes for a nice treat in January.

Depending upon the weather, small quantities of Bench's sweet corn would be available by early July.

Here's a Fri, Jul 18, 2014 Bench's Facebook post
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10152220425426821&id=370267126820

Oh what a night at Perrysburg Farmers Market. We sold out of corn in record time. 2 very full bins were gone before 6pm. We had a lot of sad customers who came too late. Will need to bring extra next week.

posted by jr on Jul 19, 2014 at 10:34:01 am     #  

Having been raised by my Grandmother (God rest her soul) out in the country, we had a VERY large garden and we grew EVERYTHING with sweet corn taking more than its share of the garden.

Grandma's rule was: Put the pot of salted water on to boil - then head out to the garden and pick the corn. By the time you had shucked and cleaned it, the water was ready.

Absolutely nothing like it.

posted by Foodie on Jul 19, 2014 at 11:22:19 am     #  

So true, Foodie. That is the BEST way to have sweet corn! We have a couple of raised bed gardens, but really don't want to sacrifice the yard space we would need to grow enough corn to make it worthwhile.

Therefore, we continue to depend on the kindness of strangers for our annual corn binge.

posted by gamegrrl on Jul 19, 2014 at 11:31:10 am     #  

Anderson's on talmadge has corn from Swanton

posted by upso on Jul 19, 2014 at 05:44:43 pm     #   1 person liked this

The verdict is in: The sweet corn at Joyce's Farm Market is exceptional. It was so darn good I think I shed a few tears. I've eaten my fill and then some. So sad that I have no more tummy room left for more.

posted by gamegrrl on Jul 19, 2014 at 08:58:18 pm     #  

Anyone know of anyone who has non gmo sweet corn?

posted by 3boyz4m on Jul 22, 2014 at 08:49:17 am     #  

I can attest that the corn at Sautter's in Sylvania is excellent! So is the cantaloupe.

posted by Unclesam on Jul 22, 2014 at 10:48:38 am     #  

I joined Kurt Bench's CSA this year, getting some of Dave Bench's corn in my CSA box tonight, can't wait! :)

posted by nana on Jul 22, 2014 at 01:39:37 pm     #   1 person liked this

Just got a dozen ears from Bench's. Fantastic!

posted by renegade on Jul 22, 2014 at 04:56:57 pm     #  

Yum!!!!!!!!!!!! Nana, where is the pickup for your CSA?

I'm out of corn. Must. Have. More. Maybe a trip to Bench's is in order!

posted by gamegrrl on Jul 22, 2014 at 08:45:17 pm     #  

My pickup is at their farm in Elmore. we made a bad mistake and ate at Ernestos on the way home, a treat for my visiting sister. we should have come home and eaten corn!!!

posted by nana on Jul 22, 2014 at 09:28:52 pm     #  

nana posted at 09:28:52 PM on Jul 22, 2014:

My pickup is at their farm in Elmore. we made a bad mistake and ate at Ernestos on the way home, a treat for my visiting sister. we should have come home and eaten corn!!!

Damn shame too. Ernesto's used to have some pretty unique and tasty food. And, their margaritas were outstanding. We ceased going there a few years back as the whole enchilada (PUN intended) went way south.

posted by Foodie on Jul 23, 2014 at 08:32:28 am     #  

no kidding, foodie. the only thing good about that place anymore is the margaritas. The waitress asked me if I had had the steak fajitas before when I ordered them and I said yes, forgetting what they were like. Pressed meat product is not steak. :(

posted by nana on Jul 23, 2014 at 12:32:10 pm     #  

Sounds like Prairieson and I dodged a bullet. Last time we went to Bench's, we almost stopped at Ernesto's.

posted by gamegrrl on Jul 23, 2014 at 03:08:48 pm     #  

Nana, how does your CSA work?

posted by Anniecski on Jul 23, 2014 at 05:19:57 pm     #  

We were members for the first five years of Shared Legacy Farms, which is the Community Supported Agriculture, created by Corinna and Kurt Bench out in the Elmore area. This is their seventh year of operation.

We picked up our boxes or bags of produce on Thursday evenings at the Perrysburg farmers market from approximately mid-June to mid-October.

We signed on for the vegetable share and the fruit share. Later, they added an egg share, which we also subscribed to. And they have added additional shares since for items such as honey and syrup.

Types of shares and the prices:
http://www.sharedlegacyfarms.com/our-csa/our-products/

You take what Shared Legacy Grows and provides in the boxes each week. We didn't pick. It's not like shopping at the farmers market. But sometimes on pick-up day, they would have extra produce that members could take, so I would load up on eggplant.

In the early days, Kurt experimented with different produce items to see what people liked. We got to try new things that way.

We enjoyed it, but eventually our household became only the two of us, so it was tough to keep up with all the produce. We canned, froze, and ate it, but sometimes, we got behind in our consumption. Plus, we expanded our backyard garden, and we found it easier to shop on Saturday mornings at the Toledo farmers market than make a swing out to Perrysburg on Thursday evenings.

Shared Legacy Farms added additional drop-off locations later.

If you want to try it next year, the half share is a good idea. Or get a full share and share it with a neighbor.

Kurt grows the vegetables, but when we were members, he gathered the fruit portion from other farmers.

It was fun to watch Kurt and his staff grow their CSA. Each winter, Kurt added new equipment or expanded something. I still follow them on Facebook.

We were members during their first year when I think they only had a dozen or so members. Kurt worked at another job while maintaining the CSA, but eventually, he obtained his goal of growing the business large enough to farm full-time.

From their website:

2013 was an exciting year for the Benches. With the help of hundreds of families in the Toledo area standing behind them, Kurt and Corinna made a huge leap of faith and became full-time farmers. In their first year in 2008, they started with only 12 customers, and have managed to double in size every year since.

Shared Legacy Farms CSA offers several membership share options for 2014. We have 200 vegetable shares, 100 fruit shares, and 75 egg shares available this year.

I think they sold out of all their shares, but I'm unsure. Obviously, they are doing well.

Shared Legacy Farms also supplies produce to some local restaurants, such as Element 112, and eventually Fowl and Fodder.

Kurt or someone from Shared Legacy Farms usually has a booth on Saturday mornings at the Toledo farmers market, where they sell their extra produce. Kurt was downtown last Saturday. So we still get to enjoy Kurt's farming operation.

When we were members, they held one or two special events each summer at their farm. The CSA is definitely a good way to become friends with "your" farmer.

This year, I expanded our backyard garden some more by turning it into a raised bed, square-foot garden with over 100 squares jammed into our tiny lot.

I think that being a member of the CSA and knowing Kurt has inspired us to do more gardening and canning and to shop year-round at the Toledo farmers market, trying to buy local produce as much as possible.

And it's good to see more local restaurants adopt the farm-to-table idea.

Of course, if you don't have time for shopping and gardening, you could try Soylent:

Soylent is an open sourced nutritional drink. Its creator, software engineer Rob Rhinehart, researched nutritional requirements and developed the formula by self-experimentation based on his own research online and through textbooks, and scientific journals.

A commercial version of Soylent has been financed by a crowdfunding campaign and venture capital which raised funds in excess of US$3,500,000. The funding paid for additional research and modification of the formula. The first shipments of U.S. orders began in the first week of May 2014.

posted by jr on Jul 23, 2014 at 06:35:53 pm     #   1 person liked this

I went to Ernesto's just once a few years ago. I threw out the food, it was so bad. I was told by the locals that the food was, at one time, very good. Don't know if ownership changed hands when the food started going south.

posted by renegade on Jul 23, 2014 at 07:52:46 pm     #  

Thank you, jr!!! They indeed doubled their membership again this year, they have 400 veggie share customers, according to Corrina's last newsletter. We get a full veggie share and don't have any problem eating the veggies within the week with just 2 of us, because they are growing stuff we are not. Come tomato time, we'll have a problem, but we can a lot of them anyway. We get a full egg share of a dozen a week and do buy an extra dozen of eggs about every other week. We got 6 ears of corn in the box last night, so we're eating them for breakfast tomorrow (didn't think of doing that today, derp)!

They had extras of summer squash, cukes, and a couple other things, but we have enough of our own. Bought some cherries and peaches, our peach tree may have been dealt a fatal blow last winter and the cherry tree was dead when we moved in, we are planning to replace both this fall. They do still have to 'buy-in' most of the fruit share form other farmers, and the eggs are not theirs yet, but their veggies are great, especially the carrots!!!

It's a cool deal and you can work off your whole share if you can volunteer at the farm 4.5 hours a week. Check out their website! :)

posted by nana on Jul 23, 2014 at 09:09:14 pm     #  

Soylent Green is people

posted by bucknut on Jul 23, 2014 at 09:27:35 pm     #   1 person liked this

Ok, just ate my corn for breakfast and I'm a total convert to the microwave method of cooking it. 3 minutes, no shucking, so good!! never doing it the old way again!

posted by nana on Jul 24, 2014 at 07:46:18 am     #  

I've been wanting to try that. Glad to hear it's a winner!

posted by gamegrrl on Jul 24, 2014 at 08:05:03 am     #  

We've used the microwave to cook sweet corn for several years. We got the tip from Corinna.

  • leave sweet corn in husk
  • place sweet corn in microwave
  • heat on high for two minutes
  • let cool a bit before removing the husks

The smaller sweet corn in the late season require less microwave time.

In September or October, the sweet corn may contain a caterpillar at the top under the husk.

posted by jr on Jul 24, 2014 at 08:35:17 am     #  

This is the video that I saw that convinced me that microwaving the corn in husk was the way to go. 4 minutes per ear, 8 for 2 at same time, cut off bottom including last row of kernels (have to guess) and shake and all the silk stay in the husk.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzYtMeIFH8o

posted by MIJeff on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:26:03 am     #   1 person liked this