Fresh South Dakota Sweet Corn Now Available
As we move into South Dakota sweet corn season, shoppers will begin to see ears popping up on street corner markets, at highway farm stands, and in grocery stores across the state. One such retailer, RockValley Gardens Country Store and Event Venue, just north of Rapid City, offers pesticide free, bi-color sweet corn.
Owners, Dwayne and Dawn Brimm, started their commercial garden in 2011. Dawn came home from town and saw Dwayne plowing up a hay pasture. When asked what he was up to, Dwayne replied, “I am going to plant something.” Out of curiosity, Dawn asked what he wanted to plant. “Not sure, maybe corn,” he said.
That year they planted bi-colored sweet corn and the following season they expanded their vegetable production. They opened their country store in 2020.
The farm store carries a large variety of produce grown by the Brimm’s including onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, beans, peas, okra, peppers, melons, garlic, kale, potatoes and more. Additionally, they carry other South Dakota specialty crops and products at the store including honey from Sunrise Hives; jelly, salsa, pickles and other value added products from Deb’s Downhome Delights; and elderberry syrup from Black Hills Elderberry.
“Our country store and garden are located at the same location, which provides our customers an option to take a guided tour to see where the produce they are purchasing is grown,” said Dawn Brimm.
The Brimms succession plant their sweet corn, meaning they plant over time versus at once, in order to expand the length of the season customers are able to purchase the product. They expect that their corn will be available throughout August, possibly into the first week of September.
When selecting sweet corn look for ears with brown colored silks and feel for plump ears, with ends that have filled out. It should be eaten within a day or two after harvest, as it will develop a starchy flavor quickly. Sweet corn is most often boiled or grilled, but it can be stored for winter through canning or freezing. For sweet corn cooking and preserving ideas visit SDSU Extension.
RockValley Gardens is located at 7575 N Haines Ave, Rapid City, SD. Their farm also offers a beautiful barn-style event venue. Don’t miss their 4th Annual Fall Craft Festival on Sat., Oct. 28, 2023, where vendors will offer South Dakota locally grown specialty crops, homemade jelly, and honey, and locally made products like wreaths, crocheted items, jewelry, homemade soaps, and other handmade crafts.
RockValley Gardens is one of eight retailers involved in the Fresher is Fun! Campaign, organized by the S.D. Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant. The participating retailers all offer specialty crops sourced from multiple producers, increasing variety, access and convenience for customers. The campaign hopes to increase awareness and sales of South Dakota grown fruits, vegetables, honey, mushrooms, flowers and other specialty crops.
To find a retailer selling local sweet corn visit SDSPA’s retailer website, featuring farm stands, grocers and retailers carrying local produce. Or visit SDSPA’s local food directory to find a sweet corn producer near you.
This program will also support several evinstents this fall showcasing honey, mushrooms and produce at retailer locations. For more information contact SDSPA at 605-681-6793 or SDSpecialtyProducers@gmail.com. Specialty producers and local foods enthusiasts can also stay up-to-date on events and educational opportunities by visiting our website or by following SDSPA on Facebook or Instagram.