Sweet corn season produces a tasty harvest at Krueger’s Market in Letts, Iowa

LETTS, Iowa -- It's the sound and taste of summer at Krueger's Market in Letts, Iowa.

The annual sweet corn harvest is in motion on Friday, July 14.  On a picture perfect morning, busy hands and flying ears are bringing in this year's crop.

"It's sweet, and you can eat it raw," said grower Steve Krueger.

Krueger, 47,  is quite a character at this third-generation family farm.  They've been growing sweet corn and a variety of produce for more than 40 years.

"I like being in the outdoors," he said, while changing out carts in the field.  "Working for myself and watching things grow.  Watching a little-bitty plant this big grow all the way up."

Crews rise with the sun to pick every morning. They'll grow enough varieties to harvest into October.

"It's been really good," he continued.  "It started off a little slow, but the corn coming along now is really nice."

Krueger's corn will turn up from Keokuk to the Quad Cities.  Supermarkets like Hy-Vee and Fareway sell it, along with farm stands dotted across the region.

The family also operates a farm stand, 24/7, at 1455 231st Street in Letts, where purchases are still made by the honor system.

For them, there's no debate about how to cook it.  Steve boils each ear for about two to three minutes, seasoning with butter, salt and pepper.

"It's just as good raw as it is cooked," he said, in between biting into an ear in his field.

Ear-by-ear, there seems to be no stopping these longtime growers in Muscatine County.

"We're going to be up and growing for another 40 years," he said.

Steve's secret to success is simple: hard work and staying together.  With corn like this year's crop, you can taste the results of their dedication.