Sweet, a corn field reminds me to stop and linger

Lab work to prep for upcoming doc visit and breakfast with my wonderful daughter Elisabeth in Hamilton behind me.

Stop at my friends’ joint in Morrisville, Dougherty Pharmacy, ahead of me.

Corn aplenty.

Corn aplenty.

My peripheral vision grabs a familiar sight to my right. Corn’s eye-high, yes, it is. In fact, Mosher Farms is coming up at the next light, and this is already the time of year when if you don’t get the Madison County farmers’ freshly picked harvest when you’re out and about, you just might be missing out.

Right, here.

Right, here.

I take that right, pull into their familiar little lot, and my mind wanders some.

Equipment needed.

Equipment needed.

My eye captures Mr. Mosher out in the big barn/equipment central entrance. Man, it takes a lot of sweat and money and mechanical know-how and gumption and machinery to make this place work. Back when I lived in Morrisville in the past century, Elisabeth grew up with some of the Mosher kids. Danica was in her class and played on some of her teams, in fact, and I met her parents at games and such. Nice people.

History honored.

History honored.

I admired them greatly, and frequented this corner store to buy their produce often. Even after that life ended and I moved back to Syracuse, I still stopped to buy sweet corn and more. My dear wife Karen loves their fruits and vegetables.

Honest transactions.

Honest transactions.

My purchase today is straightforward. “Four ears of corn, please,” I say, not caring that discounts kick in from the 50-cents-per price if you buy six, even more if you go for the dozen. No, two apiece is just right for Karen and I.

After I put the bag in my car, I wander with my iPhone 6, relishing the feel of the morning and the beauty and expanse of the Mosher spread.

The definition of homey.

The definition of homey.

The traditional farmhouse red of the house, from which the farm stand sprouts, has Americana stamped all over it.

How high she flies.

How high she flies.

I stride past their corn and notice different height of growth. That makes me wonder of they stagger the planting to stretch the time of plant production. Or maybe some is feed corn to sell to dairy farmers? So much I don’t know about agriculture even though I lived in this farmer-heavy county for 14 years of my life — and received my associate degree in journalism in 1977 from the State University of New York unit when it was called Morrisville Agricultural and Technical College.

Tall, thin and propped up.

Tall, thin and propped up.

I also notice another crop of totally different plants of which I cannot tell what they will yield or have already produced. Berries or beans, I know not. Apples, no.

Ominous gray.

Ominous gray.

Having watched video of helacious storms of rain and hail attacking Colorado before leaving home at 7:30 a.m., my mind notices the gray clouds gathering above.

Shelter from the storm?

Shelter from the storm?

In fact, in a certain light and from a certain angle, this could be considered the port to a big shelter down below to keep all safe … No need, knock on wood.

What’s your favorite farm stand produce, and why? Can you tell me what the mystery crop might be? Which is your favorite photograph, and why?

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70 thoughts on “Sweet, a corn field reminds me to stop and linger

  1. ooh, i love this glimpse into life in the country. bet it feels comfortable and familiar when you visit. i love to buy fresh produce and flowers from the farmers, and love to talk to them. in michigan, it’s the cherries up north, and closer to home, corn rules at this time of year )

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    • Cherries from up north sounds delicious this morning, Beth. Buy an extra basket and enjoy, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ It is comfortable and familiar over there when I drive out to Elisabeth’s neck of the woods, my friend.

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  2. Nice! When we lived in Georgia, we had a great local farmer’s market. There was a lady who sold primarily eggs, but she also made candy and jams — she was my favorite. Figs were a big thing for me there, fresh figs, fig jam — Oh my goodness!
    Here, we don’t go as often, and we’re not in love with it like we were there. For one thing, because we’re urban, it tends to be more about what’s trendy and prices are higher than they should be, and two, we grow plenty of our own stuff.
    The corn is always slightly staggered, but emphasis is especially on the edges, where it’s exposed to the elements. The corn in your picture is feed corn, because the tassels are straight and not plumed. Here, they harvest that at the end of August. (But here, they also take down second-round sweet corn around the same time.)
    It’s too hard for me to see the crop on strings, but my guess is beans/peas, and I’m hesitant to say they’re string beans or peas, because they should be bushier by now, but then, I remember, your growing seasons are slightly off from ours, so could be.
    I like the photos of corn, of course, because corn, Mark. Corn is like home ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks again for sharing your growing knowledge, Joey. As in, your smarts about stuff that comes out of the ground because you do it in your yard so well and also therefore learn more and more to get better at it! ๐Ÿ™‚ OK, I had a feeling my great unknown crop was peas or string beans because of the sign saying they were in season at the stand, but that was just an intuit. Thanks for making it more than that! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry to hear your urban FM’s are too trendy and pricey. Dagnabbit.

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  3. I so miss being able to eat fresh-picked fruits and veggies – especially sweet corn. Every Sunday morning, we would drive to the farmer’s stand and pick out two dozen or so ears – right from the back of the truck. We would boil them up and slather them with butter and salt. Yum! Alas, now that I have ulcerative colitis, I can only eat soft foods liked well-cooked carrots and spinach; corn and peas have skins that don’t digest well. I’m so tempted to buy an ear of fresh-picked corn just so I can taste it again, but it probably wouldn’t be worth it.

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  4. I never know where you’re going to pop up next! This was just beautiful, Mark. A real taste of the countryside. It was so enjoyable to read and see your photos especially with summer winding down now. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. I love the photos!!! I can almost smell the of wild carrots and the fragrance of Queen Anne’s lace that reminds me so much of the countryside on the other coast of this great country we live in. We are surrounded by Farmer’s Markets here – the Central Valley is considered the Fruit Basket of the world. I like the “Homey” photo the most – looks so wide open and green, full of the fragrances of rural living. I think those are beans in that one picture. My son’s friend’s family owns a Farmer’s Market, so we get a ton of fruit. He brought me Apriums (mix between an Apricot and a plum). It was scrumptious. Never had one, but now I want more.

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    • Thanks, SD, for teaching me about a new fruit in our world. I’ve never heard of an aprium until this very second, and now I want to taste one. And, also, beans. OK. You are fortunate to live in the Fruit Basket of the World. Now you need it to be watered naturally.

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      • Yes – sounds like the El Nino is building strength – we are keeping our fingers crossed. They say it is stronger than the one of 1997 – if that’s the case we will be complaining about flooding and LA will be complaining of mudslides. We have 3 months before our rainy season, fingers are crossed. I would send you an Aprium but they are out of season – maybe next year!!!!

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  6. The Gatorette has a very green thumb. I grow lemons, coconuts, bananas on our land. I have an herb garden. Tomatoes, green beans, zucchinis, jalapenos, the a lily gold fish pond (no fishing allowed) LOL, the ocean, loads of sand, a new pathway stone, too. We do have a open air fresh produce market on the Island. He is a third generation farmer. I visit them each week and buy whatever looks good to me. He brings in fresh seedless watermelon that grow several counties inland, oranges, grapefruits, apples, grapes and yes sweet corn!!! My family loves all fruits and vegetables. Years ago, we have good friends in the infamous Lancaster County, PA (Amish) now that is some of the best sweet corn I have ever had. Your pic’s reminds me of that area in PA. to a degree. Let the country live on Terp! Enjoyed your post as usual. Cheryl

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    • You do it up right on your island plantation, Cheryl. Good job, my Gatorette. All of your produce sounds fabulous. Yum.

      We have Amish-cousins around here, the Mennonites. They dress similar and live to many of the same customs. But no horse-drawn buggies. Yes, I agree, the terrain is similar as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fun posts Mark. I actually had a friend who dropped off 1/2 dozen ears to me yesterday – not sure how to cook them. He said he got 30 for $4 from the truck and couldn’t resist. Great description and pictures.

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      • Hey, Mark! I had a really good cook tell me to add lemon in the water as it boils to “soften” and bring out the corns sweetness. Ever since my kids were little, either to see plastic lemons (Real lemon brand) or a 1/4 cup of Country Time lemonade has gone in my water, now both kids.

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  8. I love being able to buy fresh produce right from the farmer. It’s getting harder and harder to find these small farmers anymore though. Here in my area we have NAPI (Navajo Agriculture Project Incorporated). But they are not a “small time farmer.” They are a huge industry. I buy pinto beans from them. There was a time you could find these smaller farm stands throughout the county, but not anymore.

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  9. I love that you shopped there when you lived there. I love that you still stop in since you’ve moved. And I their place is definitely the definition of homey – love it Mark! โค
    Diana xo

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  10. I hope you enjoyed that corn and didn’t get rained on too badly. There are little farm stands all over the place here in S. Jersey, as well as larger farmer’s markets. I’m thrilled that this summer, our little town has its own farm stand on Saturday mornings. When I wanted some cilantro last week, a woman went and cut some for me–now that’s fresh. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. Ohhhh, yummmm, sighhhhh, bro Mark I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to climb thru the ether to those fields. Both of your guesses about the corn are correct, if they plant the same way there as we do here. Regular corn for feed is taller and not for human consumption, while the best way for a long season for sweet corn, as well as all other veggies, is to stagger plantings so they continue to produce all season. I think corn is the bestest thing ever grown in the ground, and at the same time the hardest to get open for that first, long awaited, much longed for, sweet, butter melting down the sides, dripping down your chin, bite. But you are such a city boy. Four ears? Geez. Try doing 4 acres! After chasing the cows out of it.

    Those thingys on the wires are probably beans — like runners of some type. We would plant them in the corn so they would grow up the stalk, but then we didn’t have a Farmer’s Market on the farm so it didn’t have to be pretty, just productive. How on earth did I survive all of that? THAT WAS WORK!!!!

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  12. Wow! So different from my vision (and experience) of New York!

    To answer your question, I was raised in southern British Columbia, Canada, about 30 miles (48 kilometers… excuse me… kilometres) from Keremos, the “Fruit Stand Capital of Canada”, so I’ll go with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries as my favorite farm stand produce! Wow – I haven’t been to one of those in a very long time – that really brings me back!

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    • Yes, Dave, get two miles outside of Syracuse and it’s not so city-like anymore. This, however, is 40 miles outside of the ‘Cuse.

      So, B.C., man, we have to get you to a Farm Stand to relive the glory of the produce. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. My favorite photos are the ones of the fields and the one of the front of the house with the lawn. It looks so peaceful and reminds me of being out in the country here in California. We recently made a short trip up the coast to central California and during our visit stopped at a farm stand that sold local produce. I love it when I can buy something grown local. Recently, I made a point of buying from the local produce at Whole Foods.

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  14. Love how farm stands are a universal experience. Such a treat to stop and pick up the fresh corn. And Amen to it tasting far better than what’s found in the conventional grocery store. Have no favorites, but the best produce we get is from our own garden or from Larry’s folks. Their hobby farm and two huge gardens are a lot of work for them and lucky us, we benefit. Nothing better than being the recipient of such bounty ๐Ÿ™‚ Always easier to eat healthier come summertime.

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  15. Love those roadside stands. I was in Amish country yesterday, and while I was stopped at one, a horse and buggy passed behind my car and left a deposit…I didn’t realize it until I got home. Ah…the perfume of the country. โ˜บ

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  16. Lovely! We went to a local farm ‘store’ today. It was a genuine store not just a ‘stand’. But local grown. Not local to me. But local to where I am at the moment. Loved it. Cannings and crafts too. Much better than a ‘somethingorothermart”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  17. Is the mystery crop soybeans? I love buying apples in late summer, early fall. My son’s corn and sunflowers are over 6 feet tall. I have had zucchini, banana peppers, sweet corn and squash from his garden and tomatoes, regular and cherry ones from Carrie. Oh, I love Vidalia onions abd berries from our Wed, Sat farmer’s market downtown. ๐Ÿ™‚

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