DeKALB – Gus Rogers has driven past many sweet corn signs on his way to and from work, but just stopped Monday afternoon to fill a bag with ears.
“We’ve been waiting for it,” said Rogers, of North Aurora, who bought corn Monday from Yaeger’s Farm Market in DeKalb. “I’ve got enough to go with dinner for a few nights. It’s so good out here. Plus, it’s only around for a limited time, so you want to get some right away.”
Sweet corn season has hit DeKalb County, as many local farmers started selling their sweet corn last week or plan to begin this week. Most area farmers are selling a dozen ears for $5.
Patty Marco, an employee of Wiltse’s Farm in Maple Park, hopes sweet corn season brings agriculture education and awareness.
“I like talking with the people that come out, and educating them about their food,” Marco said. “Unfortunately, we are getting farther and farther removed; many people don’t have a connection with farms and [agriculture] anymore. So I enjoy the educational part of it.”
Many other farmers also enjoy the opportunity to speak with folks who stop at their stands to buy sweet corn and other vegetables. Rob Wessel, of Wessel’s Family Farm, which has a produce stand in DeKalb, will start selling sweet corn Thursday and looks forward to meeting people and just chatting.
For others, sweet corn season is a good time to simply enjoy the treat.
“My family, we have corn almost every night once it starts,” said Mark Yaeger, owner of Yaeger’s Farm Market. “We eat a lot of sweet corn. I’ve been picking it over 30 years and still love it. It’s just one of those things people love to eat.”
This year’s weather, which included early chilly temps and plenty of rain, affected each farmer differently, depending on when they planted their crop. Some farmers found that their crop was a little heartier from the season’s rainfall, while it delayed work for others.
“The rain and cold weather slowed the crop down,” Yaeger said. “It snowed the week of Mother’s Day. People have a tendency to forget that part.”
However, Yaeger said this year’s crop is “still looking pretty good.”
Kurt Swenson, of Swenson’s Sweet Corn in Waterman, said he’s hoping for hot summer days ahead for his remaining batches of corn.
“I think we’ll probably have a little better crop than average this year, because of the rain,” Swenson said. “It all depends on the weather. But it’s an awful good sweet corn crop.”
Dean Johnson, owner of Johnson’s Sweet Corn, Pumpkin Stand and Corn Maze in Sycamore, said his crop was planted about 10 days late because of the cooler weather in late April and early May, so it won’t be ready until next week.
“The picking part is not my favorite, but it’s one of those things that only comes around once a year,” Johnson said. “In this area, the DeKalb County area, we grow pretty good corn. There’s nothing better than fresh sweet corn.”
Where to find sweet corn
Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce
15565 McGirr Road, Hinckley
Dawn to dusk daily
Phillips Family Farm
17735 Chicago Road, Big Rock
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Swenson’s Sweet Corn
Routes 30 and 23, Waterman
9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Also there is a help yourself money box for all other times
Wessel’s Family Farm
2023 Sycamore Road in DeKalb
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
50 W. 379 Route 38, Maple Park
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Yaeger’s Farm Market
14643 Route 38, DeKalb
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Johnson’s Sweet Corn, Pumpkin Stand and Corn Maze
1765 W. State St., Sycamore
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily