Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #22 -- Sweet Corn Festival

The annual Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival begins tonight and runs through Sunday. I thought we’d get the fun popping with a few “corny” facts.

1. More than 70 tons of steaming hot corn on the cob will be served noon to 7pm Saturday and Sunday.

2. Corn is $1.50/ear or $5/tote piled as high as you can carry it. Don’t even bother with a single ear; once you’ve had one you’ll want another. And another. And well--you get the picture.

3. Servers will dip shucked corn in melted butter for you, but you’ll have to salt your own at the salt tree.

4. Sweet corn is the result of a naturally-occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel.

5. Unlike field corn varieties, which are harvested when the kernels are dry and fully mature, sweet corn is picked when immature and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain.

6. Corn is grown on every continent except Antarctica, and is America’s number one field crop, leading all other crops in value and volume.

7. An ear of corn averages 800 kernels in 16 rows. One pound of corn equals about 1300 kernels. 100 bushels of corn equals about 7,280,000 kernels.

8. Sweet corn occurs as a spontaneous mutation in field corn and was grown by several Native American tribes. The Iroquois gave the first recorded sweet corn (called "Papoon") to European settlers in 1779. It soon became a popular vegetable in southern and central states.

9. A single US farmer will provide food and fiber for 129 people annually--97 in the US and 32 overseas. 55% of Iowa’s corn crop goes to foreign markets.

10. The “Corn Belt” is comprised of the following states: Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

11. The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota is a multi-purpose arena/facility that is decorated with murals and designs made from corn and other grains. Completely redone each year by local artists, it is a popular tourist destination visited by over 500,000 people each year.

12. Candy corn was invented by George Renninger in the 1880s and produced by the Wunderle Candy Company. By 1900, the Goelitz Candy Company, now Jelly Belly, started mass producing the candy. Each piece is approximately the size of a whole, dried kernel of corn.

13. Corn mazes have been a popular fall tourist attraction since 1993 in Canada and the US. Introduced by Adrian Fisher, the maze is laid out using GPS at the start of a growing season. The rapid growth of a field of maize allows the corn to grow tall enough to obstruct a visitor's line of sight by the start of the summer.

(Click on picture for more information on the corn maze)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Adelle 2. Tempest 3. Rae 4. Elle 5. Jennifer McK
6. Shari 7. Shelley 8. Jennifer Shirk 9. Gina
10. Stephanie 11. Paige 12. Lanie 13. Lia 14. Kris Yankee
15. JAC 16. Eve Gale 17. Ember Case
18. Savannah Chase 19. Amelia

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Heather said...

Notes on the photos:

Those pictured are my youngest niece, AKA "The Bug," and her mother, taken at last year's Sweet Corn Festival. The Bug absolutely loves corn on the cob.

The Treinen Farm is one of the most popular local farms in the area for fall activities offering pumpkin patches, farm animals to pet, hay rides, haunted barns and corn mazes.

Adelle said...

terrific T13 and love the pictures. There's tons of corn growing around here, definately a favorite in our family YUM!
Happy T13!

Tempest Knight said...

I love candy corns! Very interesting T13! :)

Shari said...

That brings back so many memories! I grew up in the Mid-West, where crops rotate corn and soybeans. Illinois grows some awesome corn!!

I was a vandal and very regularly dumped bags of mature corn on the porch where my crush lived!!

Sandra Ferguson said...

Great corn facts. I always thought Texas was considered a corn state, since it's lined up and down Hwy 35 from the border to the coast. Guess, we're still just into cows here in the Lone Star State.

Wow, I'm hungry for corn.

Heather Rae Scott said...

With as many corn fields as there are around here, I'm shocked Pa didn't make the list. I love going to fairs around here because there's usually a farmer with sweet corn and they give samples. Yum! No one around here has 'good' sweet corn yet, tho. Not that I've found.

I'm with Sandy, making me hungry for corn. Love the picture of Bug.

Off to dream about corn, thank you very much!


Lanie said...

Who knew corn could be so interesting? Great post.

Now I want corn...

Heather said...

Thanks for all the comments guys! Sorry I'm making everyone hungry. If it makes you feel better I've been salivating in anticipation of the Corn Fest all week. Last year my sister, niece and I went through a tote (about a dozen ears) between us, plus bought two paper bags full. Yup, we were eating corn for weeks! *WG*

Shelley Munro said...

Sounds like a fun festival! What does a salt tree look like?

Jennifer Shirk said...

Corn on the cob is a must here in the summer. But we get from local farmers here in NJ. YUM!

The part where they dip your corn in melted butter for you had me salivating. Mmmmm.

Gina Ardito said...

OMG, that sounds like so much fun! The maze is awesome!

Elle Fredrix said...

Hmm, corn. When I was a kid, corn was the only veggie I would eat. There was nothing that could compel me to eat anything green, so if my mom wanted me to eat a veggie, she had to make corn for me.

Jennifer McK said...

These are awesome!!! It is interesting that most people don't know that the Native American "Maize" wasn't the corn on the cob we see today. I DIDN'T know the sweet version was called "Papoon". Great info.
And Bug is CUTE.

Stephanie Secrest said...

How timely! I'm going to have corn for dinner tonight! :)

Paige Tyler said...

Very cool list! Interesting facts! And your niece is adorable!


My TT is at

Heather said...

Shelley~ The pic of my sister is of her at the "salt tree" - basically one of those round clothes lines with tons of salt shakers hanging from it.

Gina~ The mazes are, well - amazing - but I didn't know until doing this post that they used GPS to plan it out before planting.

Jen S~ The dipped in butter part is definitely the best.

Jen M~ I didn;t know about papoon either before doing this. And thanks! - I think The Bug is cute, too, even though she was named for a former Chicago Bear. LOL

Heather said...

Stephanie~ Yum! I intentioanlly didn't buy corn at the store last wekeend because I knew I'd be eating it this weekend, and for weeks to come.

Thanks, Paige!

Lia said...

My family absolutely loves sweet corn. Dad prefers silver queen, but... A summer barbeque at Mom and Dad's involves 10 adults, 5 kids ages:17, 13, 9, 7, and 2. Dad will buy at least 4 dozen ears of corn. Mom and I end up shucking it all. My brother will eat a dozen ears by himself. Sure sounds like we love corn.

Kris Yankee said...

Wow what a terrific TT. I never knew so much about corn!

Amelia June said...

Oh my, corn-tacular!

Who knew, LOL

Happy TT

Heather said...

Lia~ Four dozen?! Holy cow that's a lot of corn! I don't think we ever shucked more than 15 or 20 ears at a time. LOL I want to come to a barbeque at your house!

Thanks Kris and Amelia!

Eva Gale said...

My Favorite!

When I first got married, my MIL used to serve a HALF AN EAR, at dinner.

Heh. In my family we used to eat about three ears per person! So I most definately did not go the MIL's route on that one.

NJ has great silver queen. I have an organic farmer right down the street and it's from the field to the table that day. Good rain this year, so it's been good eats.

Ember Case said...

The corn mazes look so cool! I want to find one.