Whitesburg KY

Let’s talk about spring gardening

Points East

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m ready to talk about gardening. I may be unable to do much of it but, at least so far, Mr. Parkinson has not stopped me from talking about it. I’ve found that talking about it is infinitely easier than getting it done and rarely makes me raise a sweat.

If you are a longtime reader of this column, you know that Loretta and I have had a love affair with Bodacious sweet corn ever since we discovered the variety more than 30 years ago in the late 1980s. Simply put, we had never since then considered any other variety of sweet corn to be in the same league as Bodacious when it came to mouth-watering taste. It also tastes as well frozen as it does fresh from the garden. There’s no better way to get a taste of late July in late January than to open a bag of frozen Bodacious corn, thaw and heat it up and set it on the dinner table.

At least that’s the way we had always felt about it as the years rolled into more than three decades. During each and every one of those years, I have planted at least one new variety of sweet corn to compare to Bodacious. All three of my younger brothers are lifelong, avid gardeners. They have, individually, been as sold on Kandy Korn, Silver Queen, Ambrosia, Golden Queen, Illini Extra Sweet and one or another other sweet corn varieties as I have consistently favored Bodacious. I have tried them all and none have ever appealed to my taste buds as well as the latter. Bodacious sweet corn is one of the few things over which my wife and I have never argued with one another.

Then, last year, we both conceded that there was a new, deadserious contender for boss of the sweet corn patch. If my brother, Andy, is willing and able to run the Troybilt Horse again this year, we will put both Bodacious and the new variety, “Glacial”, to a fairer competition than they had last year, where Glacial won, hands down, both fresh and frozen, as the best sweet corn we had ever tasted.

On the other hand, last year’s crop of Bodacious, for all practical purposes, failed to get a fair shake. Andy and I decided to plant it late because over the years I have determined that it grows and tastes better when it is harvested in September than it does in July or August. You may recall that last September was the driest month on record for central Kentucky. August was not much wetter. We only managed to get a couple dozen “nubbins” from the Bodacious planting after the Glacial crop had turned out seed catalog, picture perfect. We even beat the %%^%!!! raccoons to the Glacial crop.

In the meantime, Loretta was not concerned about the Bodacious because, as she put it, referring to the new Glacial variety, “sweet corn does not get any better than this!” She allowed that Bodacious had more “eye appeal” because it is yellow and Glacial is snow-white, but that was the only downside.

Both varieties were originally introduced, at least to us, by Twilley’s Seed Catalogue. I’m guessing that Bodacious came along in 1987 or ‘88 and, for the first few years, I was the only person in central Kentucky that I knew about growing it. I was raving about it in this column even then. By the mid 1990s the seed was available practically anywhere that sold garden seeds. Glacial was, I believe, only introduced in 2019. At least that was the first time I noticed it and I’ve been trying a new variety from Twilley’s for the last 38 years. The company sells so many varieties of sweet corn that it would have been easy to miss one.

I doubt that you will be able to find Glacial at your favorite seed store or, for that matter, anywhere besides Twilley’s. However, it is in their catalog and I have already placed my order just in case they run out of seed.

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