Farmer Simon Athearn hoists a burlap bag with ears of corn at Morning Glory Farm on Martha's Vineyard
Simon Athearn totes a bag of fresh sweet corn at Morning Glory Farm. Photo by Alison Shaw

It’s that time again! Our sweet corn harvest is coming on strong and we’ll be picking for many weeks to come.

In past years we’ve planted a wider assortment of corn varieties, but more recently we’ve streamlined the selection.

“This year we decided to just do our very favorites,” says Morning Glory Farm head farmer Simon Athearn.

The six best varieties of sweet corn that made the cut

  • Allure (75 days from germination to maturity)
  • Harris 1001 (72 days)
  • Trinity (68 days)
  • Espresso (70 days)
  • Montauk (79 days)
  • Silver Queen (91 days)
  • Providence (82 days)
Two ears of corn with a blue ribbon for first place at the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Fair
Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair, August, 2018

Trinity and Espresso are the earliest varieties we plant, because they have the cold-soil vigor needed to germinate in our chilly Vineyard spring. We help our early plantings along with black-plastic mulch and mini-greenhouses to keep them warm.

“We have to push our earliness,” Simon says. “Corn likes it hot.”

Mid-season varieties like Providence, Silver Queen and Harris 1001 won’t sprout in cold soil, so we plant them after the ground has warmed up.

Simon calls Providence “the reigning king” of corn varieties at Morning Glory Farm.

“We love Providence, customers love Providence,” he says. “It grows perfectly and the taste is phenomenal.”

The people’s choice: Providence

Out of 450,000 corn seeds Simon purchased this year, 300,000 of them were Providence. As always, we only buy non-GMO seeds and organic seeds where possible.

We prefer to have half an acre come ripe every three to four days, which we try to achieve by successively planting different varieties that mature at different times.

All in all, we have planted 350,000 linear feet of sweet corn this year—and Simon will walk every single row.

Our 11 best recipes with sweet corn: