Riverford Wicked Leeks

sweetcorn + marketing

Right now there is plenty of produce coming from our farm at Sacrewell and from our local grower group. You will have seen some of it already this year, but there are some new crops just coming into season; look out for turnips, leeks and sweetcorn.

Although we think of it as one of the traditional harvest festival vegetables in the UK, sweetcorn originated in America, where it was grown by native tribes; the first recorded being the Iroquois, who gave it to European settlers back in 1779. It soon became a popular vegetable, although perhaps not so popular in France, where I’ve heard they think of it as cattle feed (lucky cows). Sweetcorn is harvested immature and the sugars are quickly converted to starch, so it is worth eating it as quickly as possible for the best, sweetest flavour. We supply our sweetcorn with its natural packaging (the husk and silk) intact, unlike the “corn on the cob” you see in the supermarket, naked except for its plastic tray. Our crop is grown by Graham Negus in Norfolk and Nicholas Watts in Lincolnshire; both have a great respect for the land and how it is used.

As well as boiling and smearing it with butter, I like sweetcorn cooked up into a simple soup. Cook a chopped onion and a couple of crushed garlic cloves in a little butter until soft, add the kernels from three corn cobs and cover with a mixture of half water and half milk. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the corn is tender, then purée in a blender and pass through a sieve. Reheat and season well; it makes a great late summer lunch.

And now for a bit of marketing. We have a number of regional shows coming up over the next few weeks. If you are around please come and say hello. We’ll be at the Appleby Magna Food Gusto Festival and Wansford Horticultural Show on Saturday 28th August; the Northampton Food Show at Holdenby House Sunday 29th-Monday 30th August; and Jimmy’s Farm Harvest Festival and the Essex County Show Saturday 11th-Sunday 12th September. 

Enjoy that sweetcorn.

Gordon Twigg, General Manager