ROCHELLE — On Friday, Seebach’s Sweet Corn kicked off its 2022 season of selling at 11594 E. Kyte Road. The stand is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The family can be reached at 815-213-5229 or 815-562-7561. Fresh vegetables are also sold at the stand. Large orders of sweet corn can be called in ahead of time.
The Seebach family has grown and sold sweet corn at the location for decades. The field of sweet corn can be seen from the stand. Corn was originally sold out of their garage before a stand was put up under the big shade tree in the yard.
The tradition of selling sweet corn was started by the late Jerry Seebach, and it has since been carried on by his son, Jeff. Christy, Jeff’s stepmom, and other family members can usually be found selling at the stand. Andy Buskohl helps the family with getting the crop in to sell.
“It's just a nice hobby,” Jeff said. “And I enjoy doing this and seeing the community come out. They support us really well. It's great to see all the people that come through here and talk with them. Everyone is always asking when we're going to have sweet corn. It's keeping up with them and we talk."
The wet spring delayed the start of sweet corn season for the Seebachs by about a week, Jeff said. Fertilizer wasn’t able to be put on due to the moisture, and by the time it was, rain came again. Planting came a week late. Sales started about a week to a week and a half later than a usual year.
“Plus with it being hot for a few days and then cooling off for the next several days, it kind of slows it down a little bit,” Seebach said. “It didn't come in as fast as I hoped, but it's ready when it's ready. Mother Nature will tell you. I'm expecting to have it through about the middle of September. We only did two plantings this year with it being slow and decided to save the seed for next year.”
The Seebach’s Sweet Corn stand saw regular customers come through to buy corn by the dozen on its opening day. More demand comes during weekday evenings and on the weekends, Jeff said.
“Certain times are busier, noon and early in the morning,” Jeff said. “Sometimes we'll have a line of people sitting here before we even put the sweet corn on the table."
Jeff recalled when the entirety of the sweet corn picking was done with a wheelbarrow. Now the family has more space in the field and utilizes a garden tractor and wagon, which has made the work easier. Spending less on production helps the family to keep its prices low.
Seebach and Buskohl enjoy being able to point to the field where the sweet corn is hand-picked from when customers ask where it’s grown. The corn is picked fresh, depending on need for the day.
Jeff said he likes that the sweet corn operation gives him something to work on throughout the growing season and the summers.
“Being out here and doing this my whole life, it's all I've ever known to do,” Jeff said. “It always kept me busy. I never had a chance to get into much else. I come out here in the evenings and check on the sweet corn or plant or work the ground.”
Jeff enjoys seeing and talking with the people that come out to buy sweet corn every year.
“It means a lot to us that we have such loyal customers,” Jeff said. “We greatly appreciate them. I think it's a great thing. The community comes out and supports us and they get fresh vegetables and corn. I think it's a win-win type of deal.