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Field corn vs. sweet corn

Making It Grow Radio Minute

Many years ago, we had a lovely South Carolina version of Garrison Keillor’s Norwegian bachelor farmers, who would bring produce by our house. Mr. B. W. Wiles, Jr., second oldest of twelve children, farmed with one of his also unmarried brothers. They saved seed that their father had grown, which meant that their corn was field corn and wonderful for cows, pigs, and chickens but not at all what we, who in those days swore by Silver Queen wanted. I would faithfully buy some of Mr. Wiles’ corn but then add it to the compost pile. In those days, Silver Queen was the finest sweet corn available, and a relative grew several acres of that for friends to come and pick. The kids learned how to pick and shuck it, we would even eat some right in the field.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.