“Seems like a couple of weeks ago we couldn’t sell corn,” Henley said at the family market on Charity Neck Road. “Now everybody wants corn.”
That’s the way of the business.
At the time, farmers had contended with recent heat.
“It’s either too wet or too dry, or it’s too hot or too cold,” Henley said. “You ask a farmer, and they’re going to give you one of those four answers.”
The men talked about the colors of corn – yellow, bicolor and white – and what preferences seem to say about customers.
Preference can suggest where the person is from, Skipper said.
Bicolor corn, with both white and yellow kernels, seems to be in demand for stands that draw a lot of tourists, but white corn is a popular sweet corn at a number of places.
Some folks have unusual ways of finding the sweetest ears.
Skipper recalled a customer perhaps two decades ago who visited him regularly at a location along Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake.
“We would put the corn in a trailer and take it to market,” he said, noting that customers would look through the trailer to pick their ears.
It should be noted that corn earworms are a fact of life in the country, but some people who aren’t used to that sort of thing just can’t get past them.
“If they would find a worm, they would toss the whole ear to the front of the trailer,” he said. “Usually after that they would give a little scream. She would come to buy corn regularly and get the ones with the worms.”
He figured it was for economic reasons, since he might give her a price break. But curiosity got the best of him one time. He asked why she always bought those ears of corn that seemed to attract the worms?
“The worms knew the ears that are sweetest,” he said, recalling her explanation.
“She wanted the sweetest ears.”
© 2016 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC