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Colorado Livin'

A behind-the-scenes glimpse at how Olathe Corn is harvested

Olathe Corn

A delicious, delicate morning light had just started to illuminate a cornfield as vans pulled up alongside it. Dozens of seasonal workers got out in sun hats and baseball caps, cell phones and water bottles in their back pockets. 

Later that same day, a beloved summer staple would return to grocery store shelves: Olathe sweet corn, named for the nearby Western Slope town that’s been synonymous with the crop for decades. But first the corn needed to be harvested — by hand. A line of men marched into the muddy field and each swiftly pulled the corn off their stalks and tossed them into metal troughs that spread out like wings from either side of a flatbed trailer.

Above the troughs, others sorted the corn into plastic baskets and pushed them down a conveyor belt, where more people stacked them up. 

Pick … throw … sort … stack. The process was mesmerizing and relentless.

There are various sweet corn producers, but this is the one that sparked the whole Olathe sweet corn mystique: the Tuxedo Corn Company.

“We’re the first, the original, the biggest, and I’d like to think, the best,” said David Harold, watching the harvest intently. 


Sina Sieg, CPR

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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