Bobberman
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Buying sweet corn in the summer!

Corn in my area is around $5 a dozen almost everywhere. It will drop to $4 by the end of august! Today I was a Wal mart and thougt I would buy thee ears for a night snack! It was 27 cents a ear. i look for the younger more tender ones. I had 2 white and ome bi color. I thought they would not be that good and cooked them tonight and they were the best corn I had all summer. The bi color was the best but the white was very sweet!
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CharlieBear
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The commercial price of corn is why many people don't recommend home gardeners grow it unless they have a lot of space, that and the fact that is a heavy feeder. I know we don't, we just buy the few odd ears when they are on sale and use them right a way. Yes, bicolor is very good when it is fresh. White is generally sweeter then yellow sweet corn. A produce department buyer told me that you lift the corn up and if it is heavy for its size, then it is fresh and not dehydrated. Once you open it to look at it like many people do in the store you have about 2 hours to cook it before it starts really deteriorating. Have always gotten great corn since he showed me this trick.

DoubleDogFarm
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The best corn is harvested out of your own garden with the water already boiling. If you drop one along the way, don't stop to pick it up. :wink:

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TZ -OH6
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The sugar to starch conversion is pretty drastic after picking. Half the sugar goes to starch within 24 hours at warm temps. So you screw yourself by picking it the day before the weekend cookout at the campground and tossing it in the car trunk.

https://expert.iasri.res.in/agridaksh/html_file/maize/some_special_features_of_sweetcorn.htm

"Even if ears are picked at peak sugar content, quality decreases rapidly after picking because of loss of sugar. In 24 hours after picking, sugar content declines to 8 percent at 0°C and up to 52 percent at 30°C. Thus, it is difficult to pick sweet corn before it turns starchy and supply it to the consumer before sugar levels decline. "

That is probably why consumers like the new supersweet varieties while farmers and gardeners who eat them fresh often think they are too sweet.


Early season sweetcorn was affordable here, but now its 2 for $1 in the stores. I'm glad mine is almost ready.

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TZ, I never knew that the sugar to starch conversion occurred so quickly! I'll have make it a habit to cook my corn as soon as I get it. Good tip.
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MaryDel
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garden5 wrote:TZ, I never knew that the sugar to starch conversion occurred so quickly! I'll have make it a habit to cook my corn as soon as I get it. Good tip.
With corn like Silver Queen, you want to cook it as soon as it's picked. Some of the new SUSE varieties will stay supersweet for a week in refrigeration. I just got back from camping for a week and was eating 'Argent' the whole trip. It was fantastic. I kept it on ice for 7 days. It was so good and so sweet :roll: , that it drew a very large black bear down into the campground dumpster :wink: . I saw the bear, and the next morning the huge tracks and my bag of sweetcorn garbage that he had been feeding on :lol:


I would never think of not eating SQ right when I picked it, but I'll eat Argent from the fridge for a few days rather than go out to the garden and pick more fresh. It's that good.

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I just ate my first sweet corn from the garden, Ruby Queen and Deliciosa. Its odd that they are both ready because Deliciosa is supposed to be a little later. The flavor seemed to be off, possibly because I cooked it in the microwave wrapped in wet paper towel. I'll have to test that against boiling water.

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TheWaterbug
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What's the sugar to starch conversion like for SE corn if you leave it on the stalks?

i.e. If it's perfect today, but I'm not going to eat it for 3 days, do I pick and fridge it? Or leave it on the stalk? What about 5 days? 7? What's the magic cutoff?
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TheWaterbug
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MaryDel wrote:I just got back from camping for a week and was eating 'Argent' the whole trip. It was fantastic. I kept it on ice for 7 days. It was so good and so sweet :roll: , that it drew a very large black bear down into the campground dumpster :wink: . I saw the bear, and the next morning the huge tracks and my bag of sweetcorn garbage that he had been feeding on :lol:
LOL! I just caught my cat dumpster-diving in my trash and dragging out corn cobs. (it was either Bi-Licious or Delectable, both SE varieties).

How do you keep corn on ice for 7 days while camping?
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Moley
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Don't microwave corn unless you want popped corn, yes it is a quick way to cook it, but you are killing the texture and in some cases the flavor.

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Waterbug,

I just pack the corn in a large cooler and keep it iced down well. I always loved eating sweetcorn while sitting around the campfire at night.......probably memories of my father doing it when I was a small boy.....


I make a lot of new friends in the campgrounds too, because I always have enough for my neighbors. They are always disappointed when they ask me where I bought it :lol:

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Moley wrote:Don't microwave corn unless you want popped corn, yes it is a quick way to cook it, but you are killing the texture and in some cases the flavor.

How untrue. I've never had even one kernal of sweetcorn explode in the microwave, and microwaved corn is more flavorful. Why do you think the water poured out of a pot after boiling corn is yellow and smells like sweetcorn.


It sounds to me like you have never even tried it :roll:

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I would say to leave it on the plant as long as you can. On the plant it will slowly progress through its maturation process. Cutting it off from the plant by picking it flips some sort of switch telling it to make starch out of its sugars immediately. When it starts to get starchy on the plant I would pick it all, eat what you can and for the rest blanch it in boiling water for one minute, cut it from the cob and freeze it for later.

jal_ut has a nice pictoral post of prepping sweetcorn for freezing.

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TheWaterbug
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^^
Thanks!

So how long does everyone here boil theirs for? I boil for 3 minutes.
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soil
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i don't even cook my corn for the most part anymore, i just eat it right in the patch. its the best.
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MaryDel
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soil wrote:i don't even cook my corn for the most part anymore, i just eat it right in the patch. its the best.
That's how my beef steers like it best :lol:

Do you bother husk it, desilk it, or rinse it?

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Do you bother husk it, desilk it, or rinse it
You must be a chemical user, no need to rinse in a organic garden.

Grazing is one of the delights of organic gardening.


Eric

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soil
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i used to do the have water boiling when you pick it thing, but now i just pull back the husk, give it a rub for silks and eat away. ive been known to walk through the corn eating for quite a while. its just so damn good fresh.


Grazing is one of the delights of organic gardening.
its the best. whenever i don't feel like cooking, i just go find something to eat fresh.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

DoubleDogFarm
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This came up in a conversation a few days ago. This person was saying, "he's out in the garden until he gets hungry". What? There is food all around you, graze!


Eric

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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
Do you bother husk it, desilk it, or rinse it
You must be a chemical user, no need to rinse in a organic garden.

Grazing is one of the delights of organic gardening.


Eric

Around here, there's no need to even bother planting things like sweetcorn or peaches if you're not going to spray, otherwise you'll be getting a fresh mouthful of at least four types of problematic insects :wink: .....but hey, if you don't rinse, then you'll have some protein to go with your starch :lol:


You ever tasted stinkbug excrement? It may be all the rage out on the left coast, but I think I'll pass :idea:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeVWPz-fcR0


Eric

MaryDel
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeVWPz-fcR0


Eric

The truth always hurts.


why here is an article from WSU.edu regarding stinkbug excrement etc :lol: :lol: :lol:

https://entomology.tfrec.wsu.edu/jfbhome/growerarticles/petesthesis/petesthesis.pdf


What organic controls do you suggest :roll:


have a nice day yourself :lol:

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gixxerific
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:The best corn is harvested out of your own garden with the water already boiling. If you drop one along the way, don't stop to pick it up. :wink:

Eric
DDF summed it up there. I don't have room for corn. But as he said, pick it while the water is boiling, corn sugar changes to starch so fast is isn't even funny.

P.S. sorry didn't' read all the way to Soils post. I am in MO, corn and soy bean capital of the US it seems. I do love sweet corn straight from the field. The farmer on the other hand may not like my habit. But yes straight from the plant and you can't go wrong. Bugs and all. :lol: If only they knew how much corn and pumpkins I have harvested without them knowing. :wink:

Disclaimer: it was nothing to them but a lot for me. I was also young at the time.

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Got the butter and sugar today and the white. They were both good but the butter & sugar was a little sweeter! The white had a smoother sweetness and both were great! $5 a doz and $350 a half dozen . I guess they want you to buy a dozen! I am eating some now at 9"15 p,m
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soil wrote:i used to do the have water boiling when you pick it thing, but now i just pull back the husk, give it a rub for silks and eat away. ive been known to walk through the corn eating for quite a while. its just so damn good fresh.

I do eat a few ears in the patch when I'm sampling it for maturity, but I prefer it cooked. A coupla minutes seems to perk it up a bit. Seems "brighter" if you know what I mean.
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I grew up next to a corn field and after trying milk stage field corn a couple of times the farmer had nothing to worry about from me. I never had an urge to milk (or tip) his cows either, and he didn't have any daughters.

Last night I dropped the corn into boiling water instead of microwaving and the flavor was better. The Ruby Queen turned an unappatizing gray color so my interest in red sweetcorn has faded. I prefered the flavor of the Ambrosia and Deliciosa over the Ruby Queen.

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rootsy
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:The best corn is harvested out of your own garden with the water already boiling. If you drop one along the way, don't stop to pick it up. :wink:

Eric
Who cooks sweet corn? Raw, fresh out of the husk is the best way to eat it while standing in the field.

gardenvt
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I don't have room for corn in our garden but I do buy at a local farm stand and roast it on the grill. We have it for dinner and the rest gets stripped and goes to the freezer for corn chowder and soups in the winter.

The grocery stores are cheaper $5/dz but I like getting it fresh and you can tell just by the silk if it is fresh. NEVER buy corn when the silk has been trimmed OR when it is all dried up. It is not frsh.

I pay $6/dz at the farm stand and have no regrests about it. Corn is here for this short season and we going enjoy and store the best quality possible.

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Who cooks sweet corn? Raw, fresh out of the husk is the best way to eat it while standing in the field.
I'll except that because you are outstanding in your field. :lol:

Eric

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rootsy
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gardenvt wrote:I don't have room for corn in our garden but I do buy at a local farm stand and roast it on the grill. We have it for dinner and the rest gets stripped and goes to the freezer for corn chowder and soups in the winter.

The grocery stores are cheaper $5/dz but I like getting it fresh and you can tell just by the silk if it is fresh. NEVER buy corn when the silk has been trimmed OR when it is all dried up. It is not frsh.

I pay $6/dz at the farm stand and have no regrests about it. Corn is here for this short season and we going enjoy and store the best quality possible.
$6 doz? Holy smokes... I'm coming to sell in your neighborhood.

Silk trimming? I've never heard anyone mention that about aging sweet corn after harvest. I have a lot with no silk due to Japanese Beetles trimming it for me. Ripe sweet corn should pretty much have brown, dry silk to the husk...

The best way to age sweet corn you ask? Look at the husk itself. If it begins to develop a grayish or brownish hue and appears a bit dry and wrinkled it has been off of the stalk a week or so... Less if it is sitting out in the heat. If you pull the husk back and the tip kernels are beginning to dent then it has been sitting more than a week.

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Sweet corn has a window of a week or 10 days from when it is ready to eat but the white stays sweet longer in the field!!
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Going to be out picking sweet corn in about an hour. My husband's family always sold it as a little extra money....back then about $ 0.75 a doz. This year people are selling it for anywhere between $2.50 to $4.00.; we are charging $3.
Ours is bicolor corn and it is delicious. :) Stays fresh much longer than varieties did years ago, but still cooking it as close to when picked is the best! Too bad its season is so short.

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rootsy
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Genetic types dictate for the most part how long the sugar to starch conversion takes in sweet corn. Su - be in the field waiting for it to ripen and have water boiling... Se (including the synergistic, hetero and homozygous types) A good week... Sh2 / AuSh2 / Superlites up to 2 weeks Bt2 same as Sh2... If you can keep the moisture in it and keep it cool (same for most every shipper type sweet corn)

You want to cool it as quickly as possible out of the field. The Sh2 and Bt2 varieties suffer from moisture loss which occurs quicker than sugar to starch conversion on the shelf in the store.
Last edited by rootsy on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gardenvt
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Corn is very expensive this year because of all the rain we had. The farmers couldn't get anything planted. Then we got excessive heat so many crops have had issues. Last year, corn was in abundance and available from mid July well into September.

Usually, we get corn at 25 cents an ear - $3 a dozen.

I don't want corn that is a week old - I want it picked that day and we usually get that at the farmstands. It would be great to have it right off the stalk - yum!

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I wasn't quite truthful in my other thread/post. We had a couple of week old corn that had been kept in the meat bin in the fridge along with the freshly harvested corn from the garden. One of the old corn was a white corn from the farm stand.

Now, at our house we always cook the corn in the husk, preferably grilled. When grilling is not practical, I steam them. But lately, I've been baking them in the toaster oven. I shuck the outer layers, leaving at least two more, cut off any whiskery husks tips that might scorch/catch on fire and rip off the silks, then line them up in the broiler pan bottom. Add water halfway up the pan, then bake at 375°F for 20 minutes.

With not organically grown corn, I prefer to shuck almost all of the outer layers, then wash/soak them in a large tub of water first. If I do this I don't get the checmical tang from eating the corn (I'm very sensitive and I "taste" chemicals on my tongue when no one else can smell or taste them). :x

Out of today's corn, the farm stand white corn was watery and lacked depth in flavor even though it had superficial sweetness. The corn from my garden, on the other hand, even when not quite as sweet, had complex flavor that tasted much better. 8)
We had Buhl and Stowell's Evergreen corn.

BTW, our kitties love corn too. We usually leave a row of kernels for them to bite off and hold the cobs while they polish off any cobs that were not thoroughly eaten. With freshly harvested from the garden cobs, they will also bitE off the tender tips of the cobs and crunch them up. We have to be careful with the remains because if I don't take them out to the compost pile right away, they may rummage in the paper grocery bags, drag them out, and try to eat the rough/tough cobs, which of course they will throw up, sometimes with bloody spittle. :?

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here is a small trick I do when going camping for the weekend....get a big cooler and fill it a 3rd full of water and put a small bag of ice in there.....Then the important part......when its just the 4 of us in my family camping, we eat about 3 dozen ears for the weekend...so we cut the corn STALK at the base and throw the whole darn thing in the cooler.....stuff as much as you can in the cooler, use 2 coolers if ya have to....then throw another bag of ice on top of that.....usually we cannot shut the cooler door but as we start eating it Friday night, more room opens up.....bad part is we usually spend about $15 dollars on ice for the weekend just for the corn......but its well worth it to us....

I am not sure if this really works scientifically or not but it sure seems to, we have experimented with just taking the ears like everyone else does and putting it in a ice bath but we can always taste a difference...we are so picky about our corn that we do not mind the extra money and extra work.....and if you don't either, I really suggest you all try this....
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Sounds like a great idea. It must retain its sweetness by being on the stock like its still growing! lettuce does the same thing when placed in water by retaning its freshness! Good Idea Thanks!
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I don't buy corn, I grow corn. I am also selling at the local farmer's market. I am charging $4 a dozen right now. I remember years back charging $1 a dozen for many years. Things have changed.
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:shock: Would you believe we pay 9.00 a dozen for corn :!: I am definately going to grow some next year, the place we are going to rent has a huge sheltered garden area, that needs being brought back into production. Can't wait. :D Plus I can have chickens, ducks or :?: I am so happy about this. :D

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I got some really good tasting corn at Wal Mat a few weeks ago for 27 cents a ear. It was better than most I buy along the highway!
+++The problem with alot of the sellers along the highway is that the corn is kept in a hot wagon with a tarp in the sun. They should have a wet blanket with a portable fan blowing on it for the cool effect that would drop the temp 10 or more degrees!
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