Corn 101: Durham Farmer Shares Summer Corn Tips

Vivian Caturano of J.C. Farms in Durham grows and sells two types of corn — butter and sugar. Both are worth buying, Caturano says.


Summer corn arrived early this season, the result of a mild winter and workable soil which allowed farmers to plant their crops earlier than usual.

At J.C. Farm & Greenhouses, an 80 acre farm located along Route 68 (385 Wallingford Road) in Durham, Vivian and Giuseppe Caturano have grown two types of corn — butter and sugar.

"Every year we take a chance and plant early. Some years it works out, and some years it doesn't," said Vivian.

"It worked out this year."

The couple has farmed the land for 12 years, and although the corn may have arrived earlier (about July 1) the stalks have produced smaller ears this summer due to the lack of rain, Vivian said.

Corn is $0.65 per ear, or $3.00 for six at the farm.

Corn may be the best-selling item at J.C. Farm, but customers also enjoy the farm's tomatoes. "Right now we have four varieties. We'll have about twenty different varieties of tomatoes once they start coming in."

The farm also sells a variety of fruits, other vegetables, herbs and flowers, as well as seasonal items like dried corn stalks. 

Vivian provided Patch readers the following tips about picking, cooking and eating corn:

  • Choose ears that are firm and have no clear damage. 
  • It is unecessary to peel back the husk if the corn is firm. Vivian suggests using a knife to cut the damaged area if any worms are found at the top of the ear.
  • Corn is best stored husk on, in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator
  • Corn is best eaten fresh but should be consumed within four days
  • Corn is best boiled or grilled. 
  • If boiling: bring water to a boil, insert corn, bring to a boil again and take off heat. 
  • If grilling: remove loose husks, turn grill on medium-low and place over grills. Corn may be soaked in water before grilling to prevent husks from catching fire.
  • Because corn is high in starch, it can raise blood sugar levels. People suffering from diabetes should limit their corn intake.


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