This is my first summer living in the Midwest and although I had spent a lot of time in St. Louis the last several years, I didn’t really “get it.” Lots of things were familiar and the differences, well I didn’t spend much time on. Slowly though, I am beginning to appreciate the differences.
One big difference?
It seems like people here love sweet corn every bit as much as Southerners love tomatoes. Now don’t get me wrong, I have always loved the taste of sweet corn, especially when it was fresh from the garden. And I know many Midwesterners love tomatoes. But in my experience, it seems there is a cultural phenomenon around the crops in the respective geographies.
What helped me come to that realization?
I am not sure it is just one thing, as I have been thinking about it most of the summer as I hear more and more people in the Midwest talk about it. One of the folks who helped me “get it” was Val Wagner who is from the North Dakota prairie. She and her husband Mark planted some of our new biotech sweet corn this year. I had heard her talk about her family’s absolute love of sweet corn. With four growing boys, they really go through it too!
Her enthusiasm for the project was clear and she and Mark found a perfect field to plant just under an acre of it. Over the months she would update us as the crop grew. She’d tell us how lucky they were to get rains and how excited everyone was for the first ears. She kept saying it was more sweet corn than they could possibly use.
The family’s enthusiasm for sweet corn is contagious. As you watch this video clip of the youngest son George shucking corn for our lunch when I visited, you will see the combination of the hardwork and excitement the family embodies when it comes to the crops they grow. Love the excitement of “Mom! I see my corn!”
We have more video from the Wagner Farm coming together in the coming weeks. I sure hope you’ll want to see the rest of it!