There are a number of reasons our corn costs a lot of money and if you care enough to read on, I am happy to explain.
First of all, like all of our produce, it is grown organically which generally means greater risks and more labour. I should note that it is not certified organic (which would cost even more and cause a bunch of paper work).
The seed is untreated, which makes early germination in the field nearly impossible. So we start the corn in the greenhouse and then transplant it out into the fields. This yields earlier corn, but increases the cost and labour of production. Once transplanted in the field most of it is covered with row cover for further frost protection (yep, more cost and labour).
The next step is weeding. This is all done with a hoe. As you might guess, this takes a considerable amount of time and energy.
What about pest control? Well, we have an organically certified product (BTK) that we spray on the corn to reduce the amount of corn borers (aka worms). This slows them down, but doesn't do a good enough job. So we have also found it necessary to buy beneficial bugs (parasitic wasps) out of Ontario and have them shipped out. This helps to keep the worm population under control, but increases the cost of production.
Then we are ready for harvest. Rick has very high quality standards (which is why we get all the comments on it being "the best corn"). He hand picks the corn, fresh, several times a day, and inspects every cob himself. There is a lot of corn that does not meet his criteria, it will either be past its prime, have worm damage or some other flaw. Don't worry, it is not totally wasted as the pigs, cows and chickens love to feast on it.
Even with our high price, corn is one of our least profitable crops. It requires a large amount of field space, labour, input costs and care. It is also the crop that produces the least amount per square foot and yet takes the most nutrients out of the soil.
So why do we bother growing it?
1.) We love eatting our corn!
2.) Our customers love eatting our corn!
3.) Rick likes the challenge of trying to have the earliest corn in Manitoba (his own personal competition that other growers have no knowledge of). And just for the record...to the best of our knowledge, he has won for the past several years!
We are always trying to improve our production methods and grow the most tasty, nutritious and affordable produce possible. We keep extensive notes on all our crops to know what it costs to produce and therefore how much we need to charge. As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for". We hope that when you buy corn from us, you get to experience corn at its best. A very tasty treat!