If you’ve been following My Dad’s Sweet Corn over the years, you know that our farm is a community effort! The people who work on the farm and sell sweet corn at the markets are made up of family, friends, and neighbors. Support and help from neighbors has been a huge help in getting us to where we are today! Here is the story (as told by “Mom”) about two of Mom and Dad’s neighbors who are known for their produce.
Steve and Elsa Smith were a young married couple living in Tipton county in the early ’60s. They decided to build a home and wanted to be close by while it was being built. My father-in-law owned a little house near their building lot, so he rented the house to Steve and Elsa. Then, in March of 1965, Allen (“Dad”) asked if he could rent the house from his dad, as we were going to marry in September. Of course, Allen’s dad could not turn down his son and daughter-in-law to be, so he told Steve and Elsa that they would need to be out of the house by Mid- September. Well…their house was not completed yet, so Steve and Elsa had to move in with Steve’s parents while their house was being finished. Steve has always said that Allen kicked him out of his house. So- thus began the relationship of the Smith’s and the Baird’s! For over 50 years, though, they have been not only neighbors, but friends who always exchange waves from the vehicles and are always ready to help each other out.
Steve and Elsa are well known for their garden produce! Elsa manages and works a beautiful garden that is always one of the earliest (and cleanest) in the area. Both she and Steve are THE BEST at distributing their beautiful produce to their lucky friends and neighbors! They also love sharing their gardening tips and timeline that is outlined below.
Fall = Till the garden so it is ready to plant when the weather permits in the spring.
Late February = Put out radishes.
Middle of March = Put out spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, onion plants, early potatoes.
Early April = Plant onion, beets, and a row of green beans. We buy our tomatoes early and transplant them into large foam cups so we can move them outside when the weather is nice. We also put up a fence for the tomatoes to be tied upon as they grow.
Middle of May = Plant the tomatoes (dig holes and add 1 Tablespoon of Epsom salts in each hole) then plant the tomatoes next to the fence. Also plant beans, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, winter potatoes.
June = Plant sweet potatoes.
August = Plant late cabbage, beets, spinach, or any other vegetable that does well in cool weather.
Thank you, Smiths, and all of our neighbors, friends, and family as we gear up for another sweet corn season!