Family grows acres and acres of corn
On their 550-acre LaRue County family farm, Scotty and Robin Lee grow spring annuals for sale in their garden center; a variety of vegetables with son, Jud, for his produce summer subscription business; and cattle, hogs and wholesale vegetables for sale to public schools and other large-volume buyers.
Traditional and cattle farmers when they first started out 25 years ago, the Lees, members of Nolin RECC, began diversifying early and now grow a wide variety of garden-type vegetables on a multi-acre scale, including 30 acres of triple-sweet sweet corn called Honey Select. “That’s been my favorite (variety) for years,” says Robin.
Triple-sweet corns contain a mix of “sugar-enhanced” kernels and “supersweet” kernels that yield a very sweet, creamy and tender corn. You can find triple sweets in white, yellow and bicolor. While some growers prefer a genetically modified corn, Robin says she does not. Their Honey Select is non-GMO, yellow and it keeps its sweetness.
Robin’s days start early—in the spring, the mornings are spent planting, pinching and watering bedding plants, and starting early tomatoes in the greenhouse. Later in the season, she’s up before dawn to harvest vegetables. “When I pick my corn, I’m out there at 5 a.m., and I’m back here at 7 and everybody’s here processing it. And by 1 we’ve processed it all,” she says. Some of the corn will go to the garden center for sale, much will be trimmed and frozen for schools to serve.
Despite the schedule, she still puts a meal on the table. “You have to come in and fix something to eat, sometime in the day,” she says, even if it’s a simple meal of pork burgers and corn on the grill.
Lee’s Garden Center at 1918 Bardstown Road, northeast of Hodgenville, sells seasonal farm-grown vegetables along with flowers, plants, planters and other items. Find them at leesgardencenter.com.
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (Recipe by Sarah Fritschner)