Vale family masters art of growing sweet corn

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Updated: Sep. 5, 2022 at 8:00 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A common summer favorite is sweet corn. Now you probably have memories of shucking sweet corn in the yard or over the trash, but the owners of Cox’s Farmstand remember planting the seeds.

Cox’s Farmstand sells a variety of fruits and vegetables, mostly grown on their farm in Vale.

“We have a calendar that we kind of keep track of the progression of the seasons, and right now we are getting ready for fall produce,” said Camylea Cox with Cox’s Farm Stand.

Cox says at the beginning of September they get ready to switch their produce bins from beans to beets and other vegetables that mature later in the growing season.

“Right now, we are at peak sweet corn season, and the flavor is phenomenal, so we are having these nice warm days, really cool nights, so sweet corn just gets super sweet this time of year,” said the experienced sweet corn producer.

There are multiple ways to eat sweet corn, from the can, on the grill, boiled, or even microwaved. Cox says a lot of people freeze sweet corn, to have a fresh supply throughout the winter. The product you see at the grocery store or farmers market is largely affected by the summer weather. Rain, temperature, and storms drastically affect how the corn matures and how big the kernels are.

“More of a dryland yes it does, you know the ears tend to be a little bit smaller, and the kernels it takes a little bit longer for it to get formed,” explained Cox.

Cox’s irrigate their corn, but they cannot protect the crop from a brutal storm.

“This year we have had mother nature not on our side, so we have gone through two big hailstorms,” said Cox.

Even though summer storms left their mark on the corn, the Cox’s are able to deliver nearly 24,000 ears of corn weekly, to different stores and farmers markets throughout the Black Hills.

To keep up with Cox’s Farm Stand visit their website.