How to Harvest Corn From The Field

When I heard through the grapevine that a local farmer was offering a dozen ear of corn for $2.50 if you picked it yourself, I was quick to give him a call for directions. Lucky for us, he only lives 10 minutes up the road.

We found the farmer’s house, and he pointed us across the street to where his fields were. Him, his wife, and two elderly women, were in the garage busily shucking and cleaning some corn they’d just picked themselves. Their little girl played on the floor. They were all super nice.

picking corn

I shared that I planned on picking 10 dozen ears. And I asked how to know if the corn was ready to be harvested. I’ve heard that if the silk on the top of the ear has turned brown, it’s ripe.

But the farmer shook his head at this theory. He said he’s never had luck judging that way. He suggested that I go by the width of the ear, however big I like my corn.

Me, Jerry, and the kids headed to the field with our plastic grocery bags in hand, and set to work filling them. I carried baby Xia in a front carrier. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be though.

The rows were so close together, it was hard to walk through and keep the corn stalks from smacking us in the face. But Ty had fun wandering through the maze, and Jada found a little worm to befriend.

picking corn

We ended up picking 4 dozen before giving in. We drove back to the farmer’s house and paid them for what we got. I told the farmer’s wife that I didn’t get as much as I’d planned on getting, as it was a little tricky with a baby on board. I thanked them kindly, and we headed back home to work on getting the corn cleaned up and stored.

A few hours later, the farmer gave me a call to make sure that I was pleased with what we’d picked. I thought that was incredibly thoughtful! I shared that we hadn’t eaten any yet, but that it looked very good and that we were in the process of shucking the corn.

He mentioned that his wife told him what I’d said about not being able to get all that I’d wanted to, and he offered for him and his wife to go out and harvest some more for me. I graciously declined his kind offer.

I’d hate for them to do that. I told him that I’d give him a call in a couple of days, and come and pick more when my husband can stay home with the kids for an hour or so.

picking corn

I’m thankful for finding a local source for corn that I know has not been sprayed with any insecticides. It’s so much fresher, tastier, and healthier than anything I could have found in the store! And what a great way for the kids to see where our food actually comes from.

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you how to freeze freshly shucked corn.

18 thoughts on “How to Harvest Corn From The Field”

  1. Do you grow field /maize corn? I know it not sweet but it’s what I grew up on and I love it. It’s a huge part of the Jamaican culture to stop on the side of the road and buy roast corn or corn soup.

  2. I’ve always canned my corn, but all these suggestions on freezing are wonderful, I’ve canned so much this year, I think it’s time to do some freezing. I just finished doing up 12 qts of dill pickles. Kendra I love reading about your life its my way of relaxing in the evening. Thank you.

  3. Hi,

    Wanted to let you know that you can also freeze corn in a pillow case! Just pick the corn, put it in a pillow case, and freeze. You remove the husks and silk once you are ready to cook. It’s easy and it really works! It also tastes very fresh when you eat it.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your website.

    My husband and I are the blessed parents of thirteen children, and we are learning to grow more and more of what we eat.

    We now have milk cows, a steer, chickens, turkey, and about a 3 acre garden. Our children are experimenting this year with growing sorghum and they tapped maple trees this winter for the first time, even though we live in the south.

    Happy homesteading!

  4. Yeah let me know if you do get to can it and how it turns out for you….We were satisfied but I know most pepole freeze theirs…Maybe it is the rebel in me to do things different 🙂 haha

  5. We are fortunate to have 2 big chest freezers, so our favorites to freeze are corn, green beans, peaches, and strawberry freezer jam, along with pork from the pig we raise each summer. We have found that the taste of frozen corn and beans (when later cooked) are virtually the same of that of freshly cooked corn and beans (if they’ve been blanched and cooled properly before freezing), and you just don’t get that same fresh taste from things that have been processed in a canner, although canning is definitely the way to go if you don’t have the freezer space. Also, canned foods are great for using as ingredients in recipes as you would store-bought cans of vegetables. Everyone just needs to do what works for themselves based on how they’re able to store it. It’s just great knowing where your food comes from and what has and hasn’t been put on it, so do whatever it takes to preserve the good produce you are able to get. We froze so many ears of corn last summer (and bags of beans)that we’re just now getting down to the last few bags, just in time for this summer’s harvest.

  6. Last year we canned our corn and it was great!!! A bit of work to it but we do not have enough freezer space to freeze…We already put up 49 quarts and 7 pints of green beans and we usually put up 10 dozen of corn too….( you can imagine how much freezer space that would be ) But our corn canned was wonderful and we are going to do it this year too…matter of fact I am going to get mine this morning from our local farmer 🙂

  7. We always freeze our corn and have never used sugar and it tastes great. Also, we freeze it still on the cob after blanching for five minutes. Less work than cutting it off, and when it’s cooked later, it tastes just like fresh corn on the cob. Perhaps leaving it on the cob negates the need for the sugar?

  8. When we boiled a dozen and a half this evening we used between 1/4 and 1/2 cup (I didn’t exactly measure it). You put it in the water when you boil the corn. Then what we do is cut the corn off the cob, let it cool completely, put a square of butter in the freezer bag with the corn and then freeze. (We usually put about 2 cups of corn per freezer bag) When we are ready to use it, we run it under cold water until it thaws slightly and then reboil it. (No need for sugar the second time). At that point it tastes like you just cut it off the cob that day. We have been doing this for years and don’t eat corn any other way! 🙂

  9. How awesome is that!! We don’t pick our own but we do get ours from a local farmer. We usually get about 6 dozen, and freeze it all. 6-7 dozen does us good for the year until next season (and that’s with a family of 4 who love corn!) The only thing I can tell you as a hint is not to forget the sugar and don’t use salt. Salt will pull all the sweetness out of the corn where sugar helps the sweetness stay put. Not sure if you knew that or not. 😉


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