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Olathe sweet corn harvest season has arrived

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 11:13 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Crates full of sweet corn are being harvested and prepped for send off to cities across the nation.

Tuxedo Corn Company’s production has grown in size since it began 35 years ago.

“The first year we harvested a little over 12,000 cases of corn,” said owner John Harold. “A case of corn is 48 ears. This year we project that we’ll harvest somewhere in the neighborhood of 750,000 containers of corn.”

The company harvests its corn differently than others. Workers only harvest ears of corn by hand to ship. Harold said they do this because it helps ensure high quality produce.

“We grow a variety that is tender and has to be hand picked,” said Harold. “If you squeeze the corn too tight picking it, you could smash the kernel, so mechanically we’ve tried it but it doesn’t work because you get the browning around the kernels where they’re smashed. So, we’ve continued to use hand labor.”

This process isn’t the only thing that makes the corn taste the way it does. Harold said the conditions in western Colorado also make the corn flavorful.

“We’ve got cool night. We’ve got warm days,” said Harold. “That makes the corn sweeter. Tenderer.”

The company has expanded its product and is offering organic produce like squash. Harold says with the way things are going, there’s no plans on stopping business anytime soon. In fact, his son plans on taking over.

“So he is taking over,” said Harold. “I have a birthday next week I guess so I’ll be past retirement age by about 20 years.”

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