Sweet Corn

Sweet corn, Zea mays var. rugosa, also called indian corn, sweetcorn, sugar corn, pole corn, or simply corn, is a variety of maize with a high sugar content. Sweet corn is the result of a naturally-occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel.

Unlike field corn varieties, which are harvested when the kernels are dry and fully mature, sweet corn is picked when immature and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain. Since the process of maturation involves converting sugar into starch, sweet corn stores poorly and must be eaten, canned, or frozen before the kernels become tough and starchy.

The fruit of the sweet corn plant is the corn kernel, a type of fruit called a caryopsis. The ear is a collection of kernels on the cob. The ear is covered by tightly wrapped leaves called the husk. Silk is the name for the styles of the pistillate flowers, which emerge from the husk. The husk and silk are removed by hand, before boiling but not before roasting, in a process called husking or shucking.

Corn is a good source of many nutrients including thiamin (vitamin B1), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese.

Although we often associate corn with the color yellow, it actually comes in host of different varieties featuring an array of different colors, such as red, pink, black, and blue.

An important food plant that is native to America, corn is thought to have originated in either Mexico or Central America. It has been a staple food in native civilizations since primitive times with some of the earliest traces of meal made from corn dating back about 7,000 years. Corn has played and still continues to play a vital role in Native American cultures. It has been greatly honored for its ability to provide not only sustenance as food but shelter, fuel, decoration and more. Because of the vital role that corn played in the livelihood of many native cultures, it has been one of the important icons represented in the mythological traditions of the Mayan, Aztec and Incan civilizations.

Storing and Cooking

Storing sweet corn for long periods of time turns the corn’s sugar to starch quickly, losing flavor, quality and most of all sweetness. If you must store sweet corn, use perforated plastic bags and get it into the refrigerator as soon as possible. Warm temperatures hasten the conversion process. Try to use the corn within 1 to 2 days and do not husk until just prior to cooking.

Corn can be cooked either with or without its husk in a variety of different ways. If using the wet heat methods of boiling or steaming, make sure not to add salt or overcook as the corn will tend to become hard and lose its flavor. Or, they can be broiled in the husk. If broiling, first soak the corn in the husk ahead.

Did you know?

When Columbus first arrived in the Americas, there were close to 300 varieties of corn being grown on the continent. Today, only 16 varieties of corn account for over 70% of the corn being grown in the United States. With the advent of genetically engineered corn, we are in danger of losing all genetic diversity, leaving the nations corn crop open to widespread destruction by a single fungus or disease.

Quotes

"In the present State of America our welfare and prosperity depend upon the cultivation of our lands and turning the produce of them to the best advantage."
~George Washington

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      • Here's a sample box from October!
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    Where We Are

    Spring is Coming!
    Thursdays are open for visitation. We are packing seed orders and chatting it up with friends and family. In addition to eggs and seeds, there are also dry beans and some root stocks floating around and available. The home farm is located at 10145 Oxford Rd. We hope to see you soon!

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      Boulder Farmers Market re-opens Saturdays on April 2 from 8-2 and Wednesdays on May 4 from 4-8

      This year we will also have seeds at the Longmont Farmer's Market for the first 6 markets.

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