Cultivating Candy Corn: Your Questions AnsweredPosted: October 7, 2010
Not many people are aware of my extensive work with plants. During my horticultural education, candy corn cultivation became a passion of mine. I’ve pursued that passion for most of my adult life.
We’re all friends here, so I’m going to share a little of my knowledge on the topic to help you turn some heads at the upcoming Halloween parties. Pass on what I tell you here and you will be the talk of any gathering.
Photosynthesis, The Key To Everything
Candy Corn creates sugars through photosynthesis. That in itself is not surprising, nor is the fact that it stores those sugars in its fruit. What is remarkable is this particular plant’s efficiency in creating those sugars.
My research has proven that a candy corn plant creates vegetable sugars at a rate over eight times what we’d expect from a common corn plant. This accounts for the larger sized kernels as well as the difference in texture and flavor from those of traditional corn plants.
In fact, the photosynthesis of a candy corn plant is so efficient that it will produce sugars without the aid of the sun. Placing a photo of the sun near a candy corn plant in a dark room is enough to start the process. Another researcher I know says he has triggered photosynthesis in these plants by simply saying the word sun near a plant in a dark room. I haven’t been able to replicate his result, but that might be because I’m a little soft-spoken.
What About Candy Corn On The Cob?
People challenge my knowledge with the point that they’ve never seen candy corn on the cob. Let me clear something up for any of you who think that way. You haven’t seen your sinuses. That does not mean they aren’t there.
I have seen candy corn on the cob. It is a rare and beautiful sight. The husks are as colorful as the fruit within. It is shaped very much like standard corn. Because the kernels are so much larger, all the other parts of candy corn are larger.
Candy corn on the cob is not available to the public due to the dangers inherent in shucking it.
Candy Corn On The Cob: Don’t Shuck With It
Shucking candy corn is not for amateurs because the husks are thick and sharp. Candy corn husks can inflict a nasty cut. In the old days, it was easy to spot candy corn farmers by the lacerations on their hands and forearms.
The corn silk between the husk and the candy corn is dangerous. It is so fine that it is prone to breaking into pieces that can easily be inhaled. Breathing candy corn silk fragments is the second leading cause of the lung disease, mesothelioma.
Fortunately, modern shucking machines have taken much of the danger out of candy corn production. Because of these machines, some have foreseen the era of people shucking their own candy corn. I don’t see that as a possibility, the machinery is prohibitively expensive.
Knowing when to harvest and shuck candy corn is very precise business. To understand why the timing of the harvest is so critical we must look at the candy corn kernel.
Candy Corn – Rooted in Goodness
When we look at candy corn we see the three colored layers – yellow, orange and white. But did you know that, before shucking, candy corn lacks the yellow layer? Of course you don’t, that is why I’m here. The yellow tint occurs when the kernel is exposed to light as it is shucked.
The yellow and orange layers are where candy corn stores its goodness. They comprise the sweetest part of the kernel.
The small white end is what horticulturists like me call the cob root. This is obviously where the kernel connects to the cob.
The white portion is the best indicator you have as to your candy corn being harvested at the proper time. Harvesting peak of the candy’s succulence is critical. Kernels with the white part still attached tell you that they were harvested at the peak of sweetness. If you find a kernel that has the white part broken away, take it as proof that the kernel was past perfection when harvested. The breakage occurs when the kernel becomes overladen with sweetness and the root can no longer support it. The kernel is beyond ripe at that point and not at its full flavor potential.
Controversies And Developments In Candy Corn
Science and society are working to make everyone’s candy corn experience better. Like those in any other field, some innovations are greeted warmly. Others raise controversy.
Large candy corn processors have begun grinding up their left over cobs and selling the product back to farmers for use as fertilizer for candy corn plants. Environmentalists praise this development as a green way to increase candy corn yields. Food safety advocates say the practice will lead to tragic consequences as surely as feeding cattle the by-products of their dearly departed leads to mad cow disease.
Without giving too much away, I wanted to let you know about an innovation I am working on at my experimental farm – baby candy corn.
Yes, baby candy corn. Similar to the you find on salad bars and in Chinese Restaurants, baby candy corn will revolutionize the confection farming industry. Imagine the sweet goodness you’ll enjoy as you bite through the corn and cob, enjoying the deliciousness throughout. You can thank me later.
The Candy Corn Cultivation Call Center
I think the more knowledge you give people, the more curious they become. I know after reading this you will have questions. I’m here for you. I have opened the Candy Corn Cultivation Call Center. I like to call it the C5. You don’t have to call it that if you don’t want. All the cool kids do though.
Call any time you have a question about growing candy corn. By call, I mean send them to me in the comment section here. I have not yet made my fortune in candy corn so I haven’t been able to put in a dedicated phone line to handle the expected flood of calls, nor have I been able to hire staff.
I feel that I’ve given you a good conversational knowledge of the field of candy corn cultivation. Share it and I am certain you will be the hit of your upcoming Halloween parties.