The corn gets visitors…

It’s not often that mere plants can humble even hardened gardeners, but it just takes a stroll through the Harvest Gardens these days to feel small in the face of heirloom corn.

Stretching to the sky at dizzying heights above other varieties of cucumbers and pole beans, the corn subtly pushes visitors to look up and take in its presence.

And they aren’t the only ones taking notice.


Ted’s crew picks out broken stalks, remnants from late-night visitors.

Raccoons have been feasting on low-hanging ears once Ted and his crew packs up for the night. Luckily, the corn has grown so tall that the raccoons can’t reach most of their booty, like on the “Country Gentleman” towering over the OrnamentalGarden at up to 15 feet.

Ted has taken to trapping the nocturnal critters, already safely displacing eight or more out of Home Demo. 

The raccoons are coming for a reason, so what’s the secret to Ted’s success with the corn?

“It’s the heirlooms,” he said, gesturing wide to the tassels with his broad, browned hand. “It’s all in the seeds.”

Ted uses the raccoons’ taste for corn against them before safely removing them to other areas.

Heirloom varieties, established staples that have survived decades without eradication from predators or disease, seem to be out-growing their hybridized brethren.

We’re willing to give them a nod when it comes to consistent, hardy harvesting, based on what we’ve seen thus far.

“You can look at any garden and see hybrids with more fruit or better foliage,” Ted said, “but heirlooms will always be around for a reason.”

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