By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

AFTON, Minn. (WCCO) — In this field in Afton, little hands pull big ears of corn.

The summer heat is giving a boost to one of Minnesota’s most popular crops — sweet corn.

WCCO’s Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield explains how Mother Nature made up for lost time after a rocky start to planting season.

Farming is a family business for the Schiltgens. And this time of year, it’s all about sweet corn.

Tom Schiltgen says planting started two weeks late this summer, thanks to an April blizzard from Old Man Winter. But this summer, Mother Nature cut them a break.

“After the late start, we got the rain and things took off, since it is farming you take what Mother Nature gives you,” Tom said. “Some years are better than others.”

Tom’s son Brian thought a late planting meant it’d be an off year.

But they started selling their crop eight days earlier this year than last.

Mary McDonald sells sweet corn at the Minneapolis Farmers Market.

She, too, was pleasantly surprised with the summer weather.

“Considering we had a blizzard in April, once we were able to get into the field and plant the corn, it got hot right away so it just exploded,” McDonald said.

And a good crop is great for business.

“Yesterday was … I couldn’t keep it bagged fast enough,” McDonald said.

Whether you buy sweet corn in the middle of the city, or on the side of a country road, now is the time to get it.

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