Valley Bounty: Sweet Corn

Steve Sapowsky knows that the Valley community starts looking for local sweet corn on the 4th of July. “People have gotten used to it but it’s really not a normal thing around here. It only happens when you do everything right as a grower and everything goes right with the weather,” Sapowsky told me with a laugh during a recent conversation. “I don’t care how good of a grower you are, you were going to have a hard time this year.” Sapowsky got his first planting in on-time for March 31st this spring but “then it started raining and stayed cold and wet for most of April and May.” By the time the weather cleared up, Sapowsky had been thrown off track for that golden 4th of July harvest goal.

Despite the tough spring, Sapowsky isn’t concerned. After all, he has seen his share of farm seasons. He grew up on Sapowsky Farms in Granby, the business he now runs with his wife Tammy. “I’m 67 now and I’ve been farming for as long as I can remember,” Sapowsky told me. As a youngster, he shadowed his father during the workday and got an education on the job. “He taught me everything he knew and there were a lot of other good older farmers out there who were happy to help a young kid.” His father focused on potatoes but Sapowsky has made sweet corn one of the specialties of the farm. “I just love it. If somebody forced me to pick just one crop I could grow, I would grow sweet corn. I’ve been around it for years, I know it well, my customers like it, and our corn has a great reputation.”

It’s true – the Valley has a great reputation for delicious sweet corn and Sapowsky Farms is one of the many farm stands in the region known for phenomenal corn. Sweet corn season is officially rolling and Sapowsky has been enjoying seeing his long-time customers celebrate the first weeks of the harvest. “We have a very loyal following,” he explained. “Our customers’ parents came here, they came here, and now their kids are coming here. It goes back a long way.” Weather permitting, the harvest will last all the way through to Halloween.

Sapowsky loves the flavor of fresh sweet corn. “I think I eat more out in the field while we’re picking it than I do cooked in the house,” he told me. If you prefer your corn cooked, Sapowsky recommends crisscrossing your ears of corn to stack them in a pot. Next, pour in two inches of water, cover it with a lid, and bring the water to a boil. “Just let that lid bounce around with the steam for five minutes and you’re going to be good,” says Sapowsky. Add butter and salt to taste and enjoy the bounty!

Noah Baustin is the Communications Coordinator at CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)