We had an awesome time visiting Kinderhook Creek Farm! We spent the day hanging out with Farmer Larry Eckhardt and the Kinderhook Creek Farm family to chat with our Facebook followers about sweet corn and all things produce! With Larry’s help, we were able to answer many of your questions. Below are some of the most popular questions & answers from Larry himself!
How do you know when cantaloupes are ripe?
LE: In the store I always smell the stem scar. If it smells sweet, then it’s a good one!
Is it best to leave the corn husk on until just before you cook it?
LE: I would leave the husk on until ready to use.
With all the watermelon that is seedless, how is the crop sustained?
LE: Seedless watermelon requires planting a seeded variety beside it, as a pollinator!
How can I introduce new produce into my families’ diet?
LE: Make it fun and delicious. Serve it with ranch dressing if the kids like that. Or hide them in baking.
What’s the best way to store tomatoes and cucumbers so they last longer?
LE: Tomatoes should be kept in a cool, dry environment, but not the refrigerator. Cucumbers, on the other hand, need the cool, crisp drawer in your refrigerator.
When will the local corn be ready?
LE: We’ve started to harvest, but next week should start to pick up. You should see more local corn arriving in stores around July 22.
How do you pick the best watermelon?
LE: We pick our watermelon by looking at the tail (curly vine). The tail has to be drying or turning brown. If you think of a leaf, it starts to fall off the tree when it has dried up, that means it is ripe. It is the same for watermelons. If it comes off the vine very easy, it is ripe and ready for harvest.
How many different vegetables do you grow?
LE: We grow pumpkins, sweet corn, hard squash, and summer squash for Price Chopper, but we also grow other produce for our roadside market.
What is the best way to cook corn on the cob?
LE: My favorite way is to husk the corn, boil the water, add the corn (not all has to be submerged), return to a boil and just a few minutes longer. You can easily over cook corn!
What is the best way to keep lettuce fresher longer once you buy it?
LE: I keep it in an air-tight bag and remove all the air.
With all this rain are the summer veggies going to make it ok?
LE: Yes, they are. It’s just they will be ready later than expected.
What is the correct way to freeze corn on the cob?
LE: Husk the corn, put it in boiling water and blanch it for 3 minutes or less, then cut it off the cob and freeze it. We freeze it in plastic bags, in the quantity we plan to use it later.