For decades, Taber corn has been a hot commodity around southern Alberta. Each year, a selection of stands from different growers open around the province to welcome eager customers.
“I’ve been buying Taber corn ever since I was a kid,” said Susan Mehlen of Lethbridge.
“The hail storm didn’t hit this corn,” said co-owner Joe Johnson of the crop currently on sale. “But the corn it did hit has been delayed, so we might have a bit of a gap in our season where we don’t have anything ready.”
Johnson adds this gap may come mid-August, but that improvements could still happen before then if the heat continues.
“You never know,” he said. “The stuff we’re waiting on might grow a little quicker than we had planned.”
For customers, the return of the summer favourite is very welcome.
“It’s juicy, it’s always fresh,” said customer Tom Munro. “I’ve never had a problem with it.”
That popularity, according the the Johnson’s, is somewhat due to the growing conditions.
“It’s a good combination of our soil health, our irrigation water from the Rockies… we get tons of heat,” Johnson said. “I think it’s just a mixture of those things, and a little bit of magic from the Town of Taber.”
Taber Cornfest, a yearly festival in the town, won’t be happening this year due to COVID-19.
“We have corn-eating, a corn-stuffing competition, lots of activities that revolve around corn,” said chair of Taber Cornfest Jared Bell. “We have a fair number of vendors that would sell fresh corn-on-the-cob.”
Bell says this shouldn’t impact vendors, but is looking forward to resuming the tradition next summer.
Johnson stands opened in the following locations Thursday:
- Medicine Hat
- Bow Island
- Fort Macleod
- Medicine Hat
- Picture Butte
- Pincher Creek
Calgary locations will be open Friday, and the corn will be coming to Edmonton on August 5.