Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What happened to the Corn Season?

Might be that this is a just a local thing, but seriously- WHAT HAPPENED?

This year, we had decent growing conditions, as near as I can tell. We had about 2 weeks- that's all- of good sweet corn, both in the grocery store, and at work, from our customers in The Tractor Shop. There was almost NO sweet corn. The crap that's showing up at the grocery store is tough, old, and nasty. And overpriced, at $.40+ an ear. What gives?

When I first moved to the Boise area, in 1998, I saw corn being sold, literally, from peoples' back yards- the predominant type was a lovely strain called "Bodacious", a wonderful yellow sweet corn that stayed tasty even when it turned over to the starchy side- it was still sweet, but not overly so, and had a great corn taste. It was  flavorful, steamable or roastable, just a good all-around eating experience. I grew it myself, and loved it. Local farmer's markets and roadside stands made a point of advertising it on their hand-written signs, and the season ran 3-4 weeks. It, and other varieties, were available from around mid-July to late August. It was something to look forward to.

About 4 years ago, I noticed that corn was no longer so easily obtained.  Not only did the price go up, but the quality started to go down- WAAAAAY down. Bodacious disappeared. Maybe I'm dating myself, but I can remember when you could get between 5 to 10 ears for $1- and it was the good stuff. The corn that was available this year mostly tasted like the crap sent up from Florida in the off-season, even in what should've been the height of the season. We had about 2 weeks of decent corn available in the main grocery stores here- just two. That was IT. I won't buy bad corn, corn that's fit only for squirrels and raccoons, at $.50 an ear.

What. The. Hell. Happened?

4 comments:

  1. Kuna and Canyon County have plenty of sweet corn. Try the Ambrosia if you can find it. It's awesome. To answer the rest of your question, the majority of corn put in the valley is of the feed corn variety these days. You can thank the high hay prices for that. The other part of the problem is the water shortage. It takes a lot of water to grow corn.

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    1. HI, YOU! It's def. the "finding it" part that's the problem- remember the guy that ran the truck-stand up on Overland? Gone. Reggie's might have some, but their signs haven't indicated it this year so far. I can totally see where feed corn would be more profitable. This was just empty bitchin', coupled with sadness at the changes around here. :0/

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  2. I think it's Monsanto that happened to variety and price. And the decent-corn season seemed really short around Missoula, too, but it's our first year so I wasn't sure if it was just my impression, how it is here, or shorter than usual.

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    1. I believe you're right about that- if it's all seed corn, then it's gonna be Monsanto stuff. Idaho's hand-in-glove with those b*stards. I'm hoping that OneToughBroad is right, that it's mostly just the drought conditions...sorry to hear that your season was short, too!

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