WHAT KIND OF CORN IS IT?
Our most frequently asked question. Usually answered with a friendly “it’s a super-sweet bi-color”. Although this answer is most usually true, it is not always the absolute answer.
The only corn we ever grow is bi-color (white & yellow) along with some all white corn in the fall.
The 5 Minute Corn History Lesson as applied to Axdahl Farms…
Several types of corn exist—
• SU—Normal Sugary Corn
This corn is the type of corn we grew 30 years ago. The best available at that time was called Jubilee, a yellow corn that had good corn flavor. It was best if eaten the same day as picked and it was excellent for canning. Some canners still use this variety or ones similar.
• SE—Sugar Enhanced Corn
This corn is an improved sweet corn (through breeding, i.e. hybrid) that produces even more sugar than SU varieties. It remains tender and sweet longer in the field, thus allowing for a longer “harvest window”, approximately 4-5 days peak. SE’s also have a good corn flavor and should be eaten the day it is picked or husked and refrigerated to hold for 1-3 days. Axdahl’s still grow this type of corn as an early maturing variety (cold soil vigor and even germination). Varieties include Temptation, Navajo, and Bodacious. All are bi-colors.
• SH2—Super-Sweet Corn
This corn is the type of corn that really started to impress our customers. We’ve been growing it for about 20 years. This corn is special because the starch cells are smaller. Therefore, as the corn gets riper, instead of getting starchy like the aforementioned varieties, it gets sweeter and sweeter! We typically pick this corn when it is at its most ripe stage in order to get the full flavor. Because it doesn’t get starchy, it has a longer harvest window, 6-7 days, and will last longer in the refrigerator, up to 1 week or more. But, buy it every day for maximum freshness!! SH2 is excellent for canning and freezing. Make sure it is very ripe.
One more benefit…SH2 has fewer calories!!
Varieties include Sweetie, Honey and Pearl, Peaches and Cream and Silver Queen (a white corn). Silver Queen was first marketed out east when SH2 were first introduced. Now easterners only want white corn!
• TSW—Tender Sweet or Gourmet Sweet Corn
This corn is the most recent major improvement in sweet corn. TSW’s address the issue of “toughness” associated with some super sweets that get thicker outer kernels (paracarp) as they get riper. Tender Sweet varieties stay tender as they get riper, so they virtually never get tough. They really offer the best of the SE’s and SH2’s in one super sweet package. The harvest window can be up to 2 weeks, and you can keep it in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (Again, buying it fresh every day is highly recommended! We like to see you more often!) Varieties include 270, 2170, 274, 277, 282, 387 White, Fantastic, Obsession, Mirai. In 2006 these TSW’s comprised 80% of our sales.
Axdahl’s Garden Farm plants 15-20 varieties every season for various reasons…cold soil vigor, germination, disease resistances, stand, and harvest quality…but most importantly taste!!
Rest assured that it is our goal to give you the best tasting corn that is available during the season. We are constantly testing new varieties and looking for the ultimate corn. Thank you and enjoy!!!