Jersey corn: the sweet taste of summer

MANNINGTON TWP., N.J. (WPVI) -- Farmers in South Jersey have reason to celebrate.

The first corn of the season is ripe and ready for picking and it's already a hot commodity at markets around the area.

At the Buzby Farm in Mannington Township. workers are hustling through the fields, handpicking the first of this year's Jersey sweet corn and farmer Eric Buzby says it's just about perfect.

"This corn, even though if it's early it tends to be somewhat smaller and shorter than main season ears, but it's still just as sweet and delicious," Buzby said.

The early corn is grown from seed in hothouses and transplanted into soil; it's labor-intensive, but with great results. We tasted an ear seconds after it was husked and it's sweet as can be.

"When the corn comes in it's like Christmas in June cause everybody can't wait to have it. I think what's special is you can't really get any corn anywhere that is as sweet as Jersey corn," Bobbie DePalma of Pennsville Farm Market said.

The big "N.J. Corn" sign is out in front of the Pennsville Farm Market where customers are tickled that not just corn, but a variety of Jersey fresh fruits and vegetables are starting to come in.

"I love Jersey corn. I love Jersey tomatoes. I love Jersey blueberries. I love Jersey stuff. Period," Pearl Smith of Penns Grove, NJ said.

Last year, Garden State farmers grew over 50 million pounds of sweet corn. As soon as it's picked and hits the shelves, shoppers scoop it up by the dozen.

Farmer Fred DePalma grows the corn for the Pennsville Farm Market. He plants six different varieties of white corn in waves so there's a constant supply of corn ready to pick throughout the summer.

"The nice warm weather, sunny days, having get some moisture, so right now it's about as ideal as it can become," DePalma said.

Mother Nature's magic from South Jersey farms to your table.
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