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Don’t fight the badgers!

Sweetcorn struggles!

Screenshot 2023 08 09 at 14 07 01 min

Sweet corn is the most popular item in the veg box this week. We put them in every box and nearly all of you have not swapped them out. That is good survey data, however its not only popular with you but also the badgers! For every sweetcorn you eat this week we have had to grow one for our black and white stripy friends.

Over the years I have wondered what to do about badgers climbing up the stalks and munching on the juicy fresh cobs. Years ago I used to be gutted about the mess they make. To stop them it was suggested to me that we should fence it off.

So far we have just opted for growing more than we need and accepting the the first couple of weeks of the sweetcorn season the badgers will gorge on them before calming down in the late summer where I presume they get bored and go back to eating worms and field mice. However looking at the mess this morning I think we might have to put chicken wire fence up.

The irony of Groobarbs being the largest sweetcorn grower in the Northwest of England (we grow just 2.5 acres) and it being so popular is very baffling.

I think in the northwest all supermarkets should offer locally picked that day sweetcorn. I recall in Canada on my Grand tour of farming during my early twenties that all the supermarkets there had a couple of large wood boxes in the middle of their aisles with local sweetcorn from August to September. All with their green leafy packing on, you know how it’s supposed to be!

I reckon It would be take about 3,000 acres of sweetcorn grown in the Northwest to fulfil the 8 week sweetcorn season and from Liverpool to Manchester everyone could enjoy fresh juicy sweetcorn just like whats in the veg box this week.

It would be a great crop for lots of farmers to do and help their income. However supermarket buyers hate something like this as it would would require a degree of work to pull it off. What they like is one or two farms that pack it in plastic and and supply the whole of the UK. They figure it’s terrible having to deal with lots of smaller growers. What do you think?

by David Fryer on 9th August 2023