Strom’s Farm (Guelph, Ontario)
Amy Strom owns and operates Strom’s Farms with her husband, Channing, and their two teenage sons. The 80-acre farm is nearly 4 decades old and boasts pumpkin patches, a 12-foot corn maze and even a bakery – though it’s perhaps most well known for its sweet corn. Since buying the farm from her in-laws in 2006, Amy and her family have been proudly committed to maintaining the highest standards of freshness.
Why is your corn so fresh?
My father-in-law, Jay started the farm with his wife back in 1978. He inspired our dedication to freshness. Beyond his love for sweet corn, he’s always been a freshness fanatic. That’s why our mission is for your corn to never be more than 2 hours off the stalk when you pick it up.
Why is freshness important?
As soon as corn is picked, the sugars start turning to starch. Keeping it cold will slow down that process, but it’s best when fresh. It tastes better, and it’s better for you.
Where can we buy your corn?
We only sell our corn here at the farm. We write down what time your corn was picked on a board and we encourage people to eat it the same day they pick it up. It’s our way to remind people of the freshness of our product. If we have leftover corn at the end of the day, we give it to the food bank.
Describe a typical day on the farm.
As with any business owner, I wear many hats. Depending on the time of year, I could be out in the tractor discing a field, planting pumpkins, chalking our corn maze and hoeing it out, or trying new recipes for the bakery. When guests come to the farm, not only are we giving them a quality product, we’re making sure everything leading up to and including their dinner is memorable.
What’s your favourite way to enjoy what you grow?
A quick boil – no more than 4 minutes for sugar-enhanced varieties – with some of our cilantro and lime butter on top.
Do you think corn is misunderstood?
I think the apple growers have educated the public well. For example, people know a Gala apple is sweeter than an Empire and a Northern Spy is good for baking. Certain varieties are better for certain things. I think people don’t realize that corn is the same way. That’s why visiting on-farm markets or farmers’ markets is so important. When you buy locally, it’s so easy to get to know the farmers and learn about your food and the importance of freshness. That’s what I love most about farming: developing relationships with people and businesses and educating them on food and how it grows.
Did You Know?
- Corn can be grown in several different colours: yellow, white, red, green, purple, bluish-gray and even blackish.
- There are more than 20 varieties of sweet corn.
- Peaches and Cream was a variety produced in small garden envelopes for backyard owners. It never made it to commercial production, but somehow the name did.
- Those hairs you attempt to rid your cob of are called silks. There’s one silk to every kernel. Considering there are typically 600-800 kernels per cob – that’s a lot of silk.
Ontario’s farmers play an important role in the fabric of our society. They contribute to Ontario’s economy, are good stewards of the land, and help to put fresh local food on our tables. These are some of their stories.