Saturday, July 29, 2017

Pray's Sweet Corn is in

The Prays are a local family who specialize in growing super-sweet sweet corn.

While the name sounds redundant, it is not.

Normal sweet corn has one gene that cripples the individual kernel's ability to change sugar to starch.  Sugar is soluble and is how the plant ships carbs to the kernel.  In the usual scheme of things, the seed converts the sugar (which is soluble) to starch (which is not) so the plant can roll the sugar molecules downhill, osmotically speaking.

Super-sweet sweet corn has multiple genes that inhibit and enhance the sugar concentration and the mouth feel of the kernels.

Super-sweet sweet corn is a bear to grow.  The seeds are shriveled and have almost no get-up-and-grow.  That means that the seed is extremely finicky regarding planting depth and soil temperature at the depth they were planted.  The soil must be moist but not muddy.  The seed must be pressed into the soil crumbles just-so.  Weed control is critical because the young seedlings are puny, spindly little things.

Let's face it.  Almost anybody can grow Iochief (1950s technology) but relatively few can reliably grow Bodacious (2010 technology).

Most of the folks around here gave up.  They let the Pray family, who obviously figured it out, grow the sweet corn.

Please excuse me while I scratch an itch that has been waiting eleven months.

1 comment:

  1. There is a farmer in Moncla, LA who specializes in sweet corn. His comes in about July 4th, but I'm sure that the soil temps are warmer here earlier.

    ReplyDelete