I’m talking about corn, the kind in the can, the kind with the Jolly Green Giant on the label. He was here in the farm neighborhood this week. Well, maybe not the actual Green Giant, but his people.
I became aware of the visit Monday evening when there were three John Deere greens pulling huge carts with V-shaped sides traveling south on Highway 14, slowing the Madison/Evansville commuters down to a 25 mph creep. Naturally they turned east…exactly where our turn is. They were on the way to harvest, oh, about 800 acres, more or less, of sweet corn. Well, Dad said it was closer to 200, and that is A LOT of acreage.
Then, yesterday, rounding the corner going east on M, on the way to The Pig (Piggly-Wiggly Grocery Store…in Wisconsin…whaaat?), I saw that harvest was in full swing. There were several tractors, a combine of sorts with an elevator tossing cobs of corn rapidly into those V-shaped carts, and three semi-trailers stood in the wait. Stubbles of stalks poked up in the fields already cut. Machinery by the “gahm-boo” were parked or moving in a synchronized–type dance, and filled carts of cobs queued to transfer the corn into the semi-s.
This morning, was less chaotic. The entire acreage was stubbled. Only one semi remained, and one lone cart was waiting to transfer its cargo of sweet corn into said semi-.
Hoo-boy. I had no idea. It’s a massive operation just to grow the corn. Harvest is really something else. The processing, canning, and transport to the store shelves remains to be done.
So the next time that Jolly Green Giant winks at you from the Niblets can on the shelf of your local Kroger affiliate, remember that it all started with the farmer. He or she only sees a couple of cents from your purchase, and that is NOT an exaggeration.
It’s not just Niblets. That’s what I’m sayin’.
Experts will recognize that this is field corn, not sweet corn. This won’t be Niblets for the Green Giant, but it will help you have your bacon, and help my brother to have his “bacon,” too.