Corn-a-holics and dare I say, corn aficionados like my husband and I eagerly await news each year of opening day at Day’s Century Farms. When the CORN sign is set out at their Byrns Road farm in Kelowna, the annual pilgrimage begins in a steady stream and doesn’t stop until mid-September when corn season ends and we begin a mourning period. That day is soon upon us as this Sunday, September 15, the fruit stand will close for the season.
So what is it that makes the Day’s corn the BEST corn? It is sweet, tender, pop-off-the-cob-kernel kind of corn, NOT that starchy, stick-in-your-teeth kind of corn. It is more than just the variety of corn planted. I finally had a visit with busy owner Karen Day and found out that their corn success also relies heavily on the picking method and about the soil (see video).
There is so much more to this family than great corn. The Day family is one of our pioneering farming families in Kelowna and their history on this very land goes back over 120 years. Karen and her brother Kevin Day took over operations from their dad Ernie, who at 87 still works on the farm every day. Set in what is now an almost urban setting behind Springfield Road, they grow pears, a wide variety of vegetables, and raise beef cattle for local and national markets. Advocates of our good earth and with a deep understanding of the soil and micro-climate, they practice sustainable food production here and good animal husbandry.
Karen Day is a super woman. She runs the fruit stand and farm operations, coordinates and cooks for the farm workers and babysits for her grandchildren — all at the same time. I asked her about this schedule and she smiled and said, “that’s life on a farm! You just do what needs to be done.”
I just found out that Karen is also a trained chef, which is probably one of the reasons their seasonal picking crew returns each year to pick the Anjou pears because after work each day Karen prepares dinner for the crew. She told me that this winter she may be starting a cookbook project that has long been on her to do list. I hope so!
Karen is thrilled that the fifth generation of Days has hopped back on board the family farm business. Kevin’s daughter Erin Day-Johnson has stepped in to help run the fruit stand operations as well as the packinghouse. The packinghouse processes their family’s pears and actually handles over 40% of the province’s pear crops.
So corn fans, you have three more days to feast before the season ends (PS get some cantaloupe too-it is also amazing!). New for the farm this year is a pumpkin patch that Erin has created so the farm will reopen for the last two Saturdays of October allowing customers to shop for their Halloween pumpkin.
Day’s Century Growers Fruit Stand and Packinghouse 1756 Byrns Road, Kelowna
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