TIPPECANOE COUNTY (WLFI) — If you haven’t purchased your fresh Indiana sweet corn, now is the time to do so.
Prairie View Farms Produce Owner, Stephen Okos, says August is the ideal time to buy large-size sweet corn for freezing and canning.
“Our target to start selling sweet corn is the Fourth of July and then we usually sell up until Labor Day,” said Okos. “We have a total of 70 acres of sweet corn and as of now we probably have about half of that, so about 35 is left.”
Prairie View Farms is located in Battle Ground where Okos plants, grows and sells his sweet corn.
“Obviously we have the sweet corn and we raise about 70 acres of that,” said Okos. “Then we have a fairly decent size of row crops of corn and soybeans.”
According to the 2017 USDA Agriculture Census, sweet corn is only grown on 447 farms in Indiana.
There were 3,614 acres of sweet corn on those 447 farms, with six of those farms in Tippecanoe County.
"Some people grow it, but I wouldn't really say a lot of people grow it,” said Okos. “It definitely has it's challenges to grow and it can definitely be hard to grow."
One of the challenges Okos is referring to is the weather. He says this year in particular the weather presented some tough obstacles.
"This year the sweet corn has been a little bit of a challenge because of all the cold weather we had early on and about two inches of snow sat on it for awhile and that didn’t work out well for us,” said Okos. “Then all of the rain we had recently at one time was another challenge."
Once the sweet corn is picked at Prairie View Farms, it’s taken to seven different locations where the corn is sold to local customers.
The Prairie View Farms Facebook page is updated with the times and locations where the sweet corn will be sold on a weekly basis.
“We have one locations in Monticello, one in Delphi and then we have four in Lafayette,” said Okos. “I really enjoy everything from going out and planting it to watching it grow and then selling it and how happy our customers are.”
The sweet corn is also sold at the Prairie View Farm location in Battle Ground.
Even dealing with the pandemic last year, he says Prairie View Farms had a very successful year.
"We went into it not sure, because nobody has ever been through that,” said Okos. “But it actually worked out really well and we had a very good year and we sold a lot of corn."
Okos says overall he’s pleased with his sweet corn crop this year and they’ve had a great turn-out of people purchasing corn.
"I would say as we get into the month of August that would be the most ideal time to buy large size sweet corn for freezing and canning."
Once their crop is sold by Labor Day, Okos will begin preparing the fields.
“We prepare our fields and then we get stuff ready and order our seed, fertilizer, etc.,” said Okos. “We’re always looking at how we can do things differently, and better, for the following year."