Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fourth Avenue Corn Growers

As you may or may not know, we grow a lot of corn here in Iowa.  A.  LOT.  We pride ourselves on growing corn.  We even have contests to see who can grow the TALLEST corn.  Our Iowa Magazine has begun an annual tradition of sponsoring the Tall Corn Contest.  Seeds are distributed with a spring issue of the magazine....and the growing begins.  The rule is.....there are no rules.  When you think your corn is finished growing you measure it, take a photo with it...and submit it to the magazine.  And let me tell you, there are some wacky corn growers in Iowa.

Some of those wacky corn growers live right here in Clarence....and formed their own organization to show the love for their corn growing.  The Fourth Avenue Corn Growers Association was born when the seeds arrived this year.  One entire block of Fourth Avenue has planted the seeds, holds rousing monthly meetings and watches their corn grow.  I, as the Cedar County "Hawk-Eye" (Our Iowa Field Editor), was invited to two meetings this summer....and they were SO.MUCH.FUN!!!  I was given the title of "honorary 4th Avenuer".  I threatened to pick my house up (off the very boring 7th Avenue) and move it to where the party
is...on 4th!

The first meeting I attended was great fun.  I met everyone in the gang, looked at all the corn, listened to the minutes from the last was great.  There are some characters on 4th Avenue.  Wayne is one of them.   Wayne had attached a VERY long pole to his anticipation of the growth spurt he was sure his corn would have.

And let me in on a little secret hiding down below the lowest corn leaves.  Can you guess what that little piece of PVC is poking out of the ground.  Have you ever heard the term "dropping trou"?  Uh, may want to steer clear of Wayne's while he "fertilizes" his corn.  He did mention he does it in the dark.  Wayne has the driest sense of humor...and impeccable comic timing.  I wish you could have all been there to hear him describe his corn growing techniques. 

Phyllis is the secretary for this group of rabble rousing corn growers.   Her notes will make you laugh until your sides ache.  I will need to get a all simply must read some excerpts of the hilarity.

The group looks innocent enough, yes?   HI.LAR.I.OUS.   If every neighborhood everywhere could be this closeknit and friendly the world would be a much nicer place to live in.

THEN, I and my family were invited to the NEXT meeting. (I must have made a good impression...hehehe).  First we measured corn.  A very tall ruler was constructed by Bob....we scoffed at the very tall ruler.   Until we measured the corn.  Wayne's peepee is definitely growing some corn.

My beloved even got into the action, helping out at the top of the ladder.  This was Wayne's "secondary" corn.  Not the "contest" corn.  It was doing quite well if I do say so. 

Next came Bob and Kris' corn.  WOWSA.

THEN, we came to Derek's corn.  HELL-O MR. CORN GROWER!

Umm.....Marcia's going for dwarfiest variety.  She's having fun with it....that's what counts!  You can stop in to tease Marcia about her corn anytime at Mill Creek Cafe....she's one of the owners. 
She has an infectious laugh. :-)

We listened to the minutes....on lawn chairs....on the driveway.  I love small town Iowa.  This is it at its finest.  Neighbors enjoying each other's company, a delicious potluck meal and beverages in the warm summer air.

I smiled all the way home.

You can check out the 4th Avenue corn in Clarence by driving down the 400 block of 4th Avenue.

Also, feel free to check out the Our Iowa "Corn Cam" on the campus of Iowa State University.

I also featured the Corn Growers in the latest issue of the Clarence Community Newsletter....check 'er out.


  1. This is the best post ever! I can't stot laughing1 Who would of thought that nice gentleman would pee on his corn in town? OMG! Too funny.
    Thanks so much for this wonderful post! Wish I was there!!!!

  2. I love Iowans. They are the best. Great post. I found your blog through a pin for Mongolian Beef in the crockpot.
    (With love from an Iowan, living away for the past 16 years)


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