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In McHenry County, sweet corn season starts strong

Published: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 2:25 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 11:42 p.m. CST
(Northwest Herald file photo)
A farm worker removes tillers from sweet corn plants while working on a local farm.
(Northwest Herald file photo)
Lizzy Panzica of Hampshire (left) sells Keith Reinarcher of Marango sweet corn at the Goebbert's farm stand along Illinos Route 176 in Marengo. The farm stand will be open until mid-September selling a variety of fruits and vegetables.

CRYSTAL LAKE – Dinners made by Crystal Lake resident Kelly Haussmann will this week start including a sweet buttery crunch now that sweet corn season is in full swing.

“This is the first round of the summer,” Haussmann said, placing ear after ear of corn into a plastic bag at a Crystal Lake Cody’s Farm stand.

Signs for sweet corn in the recent weeks began popping up throughout the county, and area vendors and producers say the season has started strong.

Manning the Cody’s Farm stand in Crystal Lake was Kathy Bronner, an employee of the Marengo-based farm for the sixth season.

Having started selling mid-July, Bronner said Cody’s sweet corn crop is faring well so far.

“I think it’s going really well,” she said. “Our corn is excellent this year. I’ve even had customers that come and they’ll buy several dozen and they’ll ship it to relatives who don’t get corn in their area.”

While the Crystal Lake stand seemed slower in comparison to what Bronner considered to be a better-known Woodstock location, she said sweet corn is typically the top-selling product on most stands every summer.

Von Bergen’s Country Market has also seen a good start despite opening stands somewhat late, said Bobette Von Bergen.

“It’s about two weeks late because of the cool winter and spring ... we’re having a good crop right now, though,” she said. “It’s coming in strong and the taste is good.”

For the Hebron-based market, the corn season will continue until the end of October, weather permitting, Von Bergen added.

The cooler-than-usual spring has caused minor slowdowns in Harvard, too, said Gary Pack of Twin Garden Farms, the developer of hybrid, TGF Mirai corn.

“The record-setting cool July kept [the] growth rate below normal so supplies are a little low but it’ll eventually catch up,” he said, adding the slower rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “The slow growth actually makes it a little sweeter.”

While most of Haussmann’s first round of sweet corn will likely be eaten right off the cob, she said she was also planning to include some of it in supplementary recipes.

“I’m making a salsa out of it that’s really good,” she said.

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