country gardens

James A. Baggett

Sandy and Her Sweet Corn

My dear friend Sandy Soria lives in the best of two worlds. She and her husband and two sons spend most weeks in a contemporary townhouse in the western suburbs of Des Moines. But on weekends and as soon as school breaks for summer vacation, the Sorias return to their picture-perfect century farm about 30 miles outside of town surrounded by Iowa’s famous cornfields. Think Grant Wood. After meeting my old friend and amateur-corn-grower (and unofficial champion corn-on-the-cob eater) Steve Perkins during a visit to the Midwest from his Chesapeake Bay home in Virginia, Sandy was convinced she should try her hand at growing a patch of sweet corn. And I’m sure glad she did.

CornJ&S

Here we are in an outtake by photographer Marty Baldwin taken last summer while harvesting just some of the delicious corn she grew in a 10-foot by 10-foot space at her farm. Look for the story on Sandy and her corn patch in the Fall 2010 issue of Country Gardens, which goes on sale in early August. Speaking of sweet corn, I’m excited to try growing a new variety from Harris Seeds (www.harrisseeds.com) called ‘Mr. Mini Mirai’. The name Mirai means “taste of the future” in Japanese and the ears of this supposedly exceptionally sweet and tender gourmet corn are a refined 5” to 5 ½”, just the right size for a dinner plate. ‘Mr. Mini Mirai’ matures approximately 74 days from planting. Tell us about the sweet corn you’ve got growing out in your backyard and how you enjoy sharing it with others.