Munson Farms Corn is candy on the cob
This is the sixth in a series of pieces profiling Colorado-grown products...and what some local restaurants do with them.
Photos by Chris Utterback
Is there an ingredient that makes Colorado chefs salivate quite so much as Munson Farms corn? They simmer it into chowders. They bake it into biscuits. They sprinkle kernels, raw, over fresh salads. Given the chance, they might very well bathe in the liquid left after the corn is cooked.
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This golden treasure is farmed on 120 acres near Boulder, by two generations of Munsons: Bob Munson, the gregarious patriarch, and his two sons. Munson, who's been farming the land for decades, has turned over daily operations to his children and relegated himself to working the farm on Saturdays with his wife, monitoring the blooming produce and greeting the customers who flock to the farm-stand in the morning.
A former Ball Aerospace engineer, Munson is delighted to have the farm pass into capable hands. "They have good engineering careers, both Mike and Chris, but I think both of them are looking forward to the day when they can just farm, and have the whole day to do it right," he says. Munson started selling corn at a young age, pulling his red wagon door to door in rural Illinois. That entrepreneurial spirit led him to buy the first plot of what would become Munson Farms.
You can pick your own flowers from the Munson Farms fields.
"We set up a little stand on the corner, and people would come and buy sweet corn because it was sweeter than what they could get at the supermarket... nobody really thought about buying local," he recalls. The locavore revolution of the past decade, spurred by consumers and chefs alike, brought the news of Munson's stellar corn to more and more eager foodies.
Bob Munson surveys his kingdom.
And while corn fields all over the country wither under an intense drought, Munson Farms corn flourishes, thanks to a miracle rainfall in this part of Boulder and good planning. "In the whole state, we're the only one that's got this beautiful corn crop," says Munson.
He picks an ear of Peaches & Cream from the pile resting outside his stand, peels back the husk, and invites you to take a bite. "Taste how good it is," he says, beaming. "It was just picked this morning, you can eat it raw."
My, it is good. Even cold and uncooked, the kernels are tender, fresh and almost impossibly sweet. No wonder chefs are beating down his door to get cases of his corn. "It's pretty nice, because you don't get many nos," he laughs.
The corn fields on one of the Munsons' three plots.