CURWENSVILLE — Dylan Henry of Curwensville is continuing his family’s tradition. The 14-year-old who will be in ninth grade this year at Curwensville Area School District is hoping to offer local residents an opportunity to purchase sweet corn this summer picking up where his grandfather, the late Tom Henry left off with his Henry’s Sweet Corn — an area summer staple.
Tom Henry, who was the fourth generation of the Henry family to own Henry’s Farm in Clearfield, operated the seasonal business for nearly 50 years beginning in the mid-1950s as far as his family can determine. Dylan Henry is the sixth generation.
Area residents counted on him to provide the summer vegetable treat for preserving for the long winter months or to be served as part of a summer barbecue or picnic menu. Planting corn each spring was a leap of faith for Tom Henry and he did it with a belief in the science of growing things and fundamental trust that his maker would send the rain and sun needed for a good crop.
Tom Henry passed away in September 2019. His obituary noted “His pride and joy was growing and selling his famous Henry Sweet Corn.”
Tom’s son Mike, Dylan’s father, manned the business during the summer of 2019 while his father was ill, but said he found it was not for him. Dylan’s mother, Shannon Henry, said Dylan has been adamant he would take over the business. Dylan Henry said sweet corn is his legacy. “When I was in sixth grade my teacher Linda Shaffer started calling me ‘Corn Man’ because she knew I helped my grandfather with the sweet corn. It stuck and a lot of people call me that,” he explained.
Dylan Henry purchased his own corn planter and worked long days with his father to get seven acres planted with three varieties of sweet corn including a bi-color, a super white and a super yellow. “I planted the last batch yesterday,” he said last Sunday.
He said he chose those particular varieties because they are what people ask for and seem to prefer.
He said he started the first part of May, staggering plantings every seven to 10 days, to extend the life and length of the crop. He said prior to planting the fields have to be prepared including plowing, disking and harrowing.
There is also an expense to planting sweet corn including purchasing seed, fertilizer and insect spray and a great deal of time invested in planting and picking.
The procedure for purchasing corn will be different this year. It will no longer be available for purchase at Tom Henry’s home. Instead the family is planning to have a structure built along Carbon Mine Road, down the highway from the farm.
Payment will no longer be on the honor system with customer’s making their own change. Mike and Shannon Henry said last year there were some issues and they hope by asking people to have the correct change when they come to purchase corn to avoid any future problems.