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FOURTH OF JULY SWEET CORN CONNECTION EXPLAINED

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Even city dwellers seem to connect corn with the Fourth of July. Perhaps they vaguely remember a rural relative mentioning something about "knee high by the Fourth of July," which refers to the height of corn on that date.
 Having corn knee high by the Fourth of July was the goal of farmers half a century ago. But today's competitive farmers would be disappointed if their corn was only knee high on the Fourth of July. Today it is not unusual for field corn (corn grown primarily for animal feed) to be shoulder high by early July.
 Sweet corn, which we humans consume in great quantities as "corn on the cob," also has its Fourth of July connection. That's the date competitive Ohio vegetable growers hope to have their first sweet corn ready for consumers to enjoy.
 Another Fourth of July corn connection is holiday picnics and cook- outs which often include corn on the cob as a special treat.
 This year, unfortunately, because of late planting and cool weather during the early part of the growing season, only a few Ohio growers will have Fourth of July sweet corn. So sweet corn lovers may have to put their craving on hold for a week or two with the knowledge that those first succulent ears are going to taste just that much better after the wait.
 A recent check of several members of the Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association, who have a reputation for early sweet corn, has revealed that Jerry Witten, Lowell, will be the first Ohio grower to harvest sweet corn. July first, three days before the fourth, is his anticipated harvest date. Bill Fulton, Troy, is predicting July fourth and Brent Rhoads, Circleville, will probably harvest some on the fifth or sixth.
 Temperatures in the 80-to-90-degree range, which are usual for July, accelerate plant growth. By the second or third week of July, fresh, homegrown sweet corn should be available from local growers over most of the state.
 Consumers are reminded that the sweet flavor and fine texture of modern-day sweet corn can best be appreciated by using it promptly after it is purchased.
 AMISH CORN AND SQUASH CASSEROLE
 2 cups corn
 2 cups summer squash, seeded and chopped
 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
 2 eggs
 2 cups milk
 4 cups crushed soda crackers
 1/4 teaspoon pepper
 2 tablespoons butter
 1/4 cup grated cheese
 In a large mixing bowl combine first seven ingredients together. Butter a large casserole dish and fill with mixture. Dot with butter and top with remaining 1/4 cup grated cheese. Bake uncovered in 350- degree oven for 40 minutes or until center is done. Serve hot. 6-8 servings.
 CORN CUSTARD
 3 ears corn (2 cups)
 3 eggs, lightly beaten
 2 cups milk
 1-1/2 cups herb stuffing
 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
 1 teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon sugar
 Cut kernels from cobs. Mix all ingredients together and place in baking dish set into a pan containing about one inch of water. Bake at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting knife into center of casserole. Corn will be done when knife comes out clean and uncoated. Serves 4.
 -0- 6/25/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: This release was written by Blake Gerber, consumer information analyst. The information in this release may be used as is, as a news story or column or may be edited or incorporated into another article. For more information on the subject or names of growers in your area, call contact./
 /CONTACT: Mike Pullins, 614-249-2424, or Blake Gerber, 614-866-9177, both of the Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association/


CO: Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association ST: Ohio IN: AGR FOD SU:

AR -- CL013 -- 5846 06/25/93 16:13 EDT
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Date:Jun 25, 1993
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