FULTON, Ill. — Northwestern Illinois residents seeking farm-fresh sweet corn just need to travel a couple miles outside of the Fulton city limits to Sikkema Farm, where the seasonal crop is picked every day, rain or shine.
The farm opened for the season recently with hundreds of bags of sweet corn already sold to new and returning customers.
Farmer Seth Sikkema of Fulton said the corn is first harvested around the Fourth of July and will hopefully continue through Labor Day, weather permitting.
By that time, the farm also will be yielding watermelons and pumpkins, which will be available at the farm or Hy-Vee in Clinton, Iowa.
The 62-acre farm has 52 acres of tillable land, with 6 to 8 acres dedicated to sweet corn and the rest to a few other crops. Last year, the family harvested about 200 bins or 10,000 melons, Sikkema added.
The farm has been in the Sikkema family since the 1947, though the house on the lot now sits empty.
The sweet corn sales have always been a family operation, with Viola and Lenny Sikkema starting the tradition around 25 years ago.
They were busy bagging and selling the corn in the Morton building as Seth and his aunt, Chris McCann, returned from the fields with fresh hauls.
The sweet corn sales have been a side gig for the family and local seasonal helpers, but one that helped put the Sikkema kids and grandkids through college.
Seth just graduated from St. Ambrose University with a degree in accounting, but the farm work is something he looks forward to continuing, at least on a seasonal basis.
“It’s an honor to carry on the family tradition,” he said with a smile.
Sikkema Farm is located at 21270 Cattail Road in Fulton. Just follow the signs on Route 84 and make a turn before Hunter’s Sports Bar 2.
A baker’s dozen of 13 ears sells for $5, though larger orders can be placed in advance.
The farm’s hours of operation may vary, though they’re typically open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until the corn is sold out for the day. They also set up at the Lyons Farmers Market in Clinton.
Follow Sikkema Farm on social media for daily updates or to see when and where you can get the savory and seasonal sweet corn.