Sweet Corn

Friends Drift Inn Farm – What We Grow

Corn is Charlie Pinson's passion

“The farmer that brings corn to market first wins.” Charlie Pinson, Friends Drift Inn Farm


We Grow Corn – Sweet Corn and Field Corn

No crop drives me to the verge of madness like corn. We have grown it in flats and dropped plants to get a jump on the season. (That’s crazy!)

We have poured over seed catalogues seeking fast maturing varieties. We order, and order more! We have spent hours and a chunk of the budget for corn.

On the farm, we have corn planted nearly as fast as we get the fields plowed; all in the name of being first to market.

Crows follow along as we plant, often eating the seed. We have to replant frequently filling in the gaps. As the corn matures we fight the deer, the raccoons, and the blackbirds for every single cob. We pray gusts of wind do not lay the crop on the ground rendering it good for nothing but livestock feed. Growing corn for market is seriously fraught with peril.

Competition at the market is fierce so I will not share what varieties we grow. Rest assured we source seeds from commercial growers who do not sell GMO corn seed.

Early maturing varieties take about 70 days after they break through the soil to produce the coveted cobs of gold. Some of our heirloom varieties stand in the fields for up to 100 days before they mature.

To stay competitive, we plant corn every 10 days right up into the days when summer gives away to fall.

To this point, we have never sprayed our corn. We strive to maintain a bee-friendly environment.

Friends Drift Inn Farm is a small family farm. We hand harvest, wearing long sleeve shirts to keep the corn from cutting us and making us itch. Along the way, we proceed cautiously because the evil pack saddle worm’s sting is an agony that lasts for hours. For every 100 foot sweet corn row we anticipate 7 dozen ears of harvest on a good year.

Early bi-color sweet corn Friends Drift Inn Farm

Post Harvest Handling

After harvest, the corn is kept cool, often brought to market under the cover of wet burlap sacks to insure our clients the freshest product possible.

Our early corn is so sweet, we do not even cook it. We eat it straight off the cob! I kid you not! But, most of our customers either grill, steam or roast fresh corn.

Our midseason corn is my favorite for pickling. I love mixed pickles! Pickled corn; just another project on the back burners at Friends Drift Inn Farm! Giggles

A Word or Two About Dent Corn and Cornmeal

Heirloom Dent Corn Friends Drift Inn Farm

In addition to sweet corn, Friends Drift Inn Farm grows dent corn chiefly for our personal use. Dent corn, is dried and used for corn meal. We grow Daymon Morgan’s Kentucky Butcher, an heirloom variety from Leslie County. As we add acreage, we would like to grow this variety for commercial corn meal production. We have big dreams.

Come early to the Pikeville Farmers Market. Corn sells out fast!

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Hat line divider-Joyce Pinson Red Hat

More Friends Drift Inn Farm
Friends Drift Inn Farm Manifesto
Friends Drift Inn Farm At A Glance
Corn Recipes

About the Author

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.