Special sweet corn causes feeding frenzy in Mandan

By  | 

MANDAN, N.D. - We've all heard of people who wait for hours, even days, for concert tickets, the latest video gaming system or the newest iPhone. During harvest season in North Dakota, folks line up early in the morning for Mary Graner's produce.

August 9 was one of the last days to get your hands on her famous sweet corn.

Every morning during harvest season when Mary Graner drives up with her pickup loaded with sweet corn, customers are waiting with cash in hand long before the tailgate opens.

"It's fresh, it's good, it's home grown, it's ready to eat," says Gayle Weigel, Bismarck.

Gayle Weigel shows up three times a week to buy a special variety that's only available here.

"We're the ones that called last night for 20 dozen," says Weigel.

Mary Graner has been planting a hybrid from Minnesota that customers are crazy for.

"I'm the only one that sells it, so basically it's a top secret. I don't reveal what it is," says Graner.

Word-of-mouth advertising created this feeding frenzy.

"If you don't get here early, you don't get some sometimes," says Gene Kottsick, Mandan.

Mary and her kids pick corn every morning and truck it into town.

"We're in the corn field by 7 a.m. every morning. We never pick it the day before. It sells out everyday," says Graner.

There's more than a dozen reasons why people wait in line to buy Mary Graner's corn.

"It's so tasty, and it's sweet and fresh," says Coleetta Luchsinger, Mandan.

"I blanch it, put it in the freezer, eat it all winter long," says Weigel.

Some customers travel thousands of miles to get their hands on these ears.

"I have a lady that flies in from Mesa, Arizona every year. She flies up on Allegiant , she gets her corn and takes it back home with her," says Graner.

Seven dollars buys you a dozen pieces of palate paradise.

Graner will be selling sweet corn only three more days. August 10 in the morning at Cenex in Mandan, and August 11 and 12 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Central High School in Bismarck. She will donate all the proceeds from those two sales to the the St. Mary's Pride Parents and Booster Club.