Pepperwood, the Corn King

It’s time to go to Pepperwood and get some corn.  Mmm, and maybe some Waltana apples? There are at least two stands open this year (one looked like it might normally be open when I was there last week but it wasn’t open when I came looking for goodies.) Pepperwood is the corn king of Humboldt.  If you don’t believe me look at this photo (Humboldt Standard 5-10-1952)  The ’55 flood devastated the area.  But the farmers moved back in.  Why?  Because the land there produces some of the best vegetables you’ve ever tasted. Below is an excerpt of a farmer in 1962.

We started our corn raising in Carlotta in 1921 (where
we put Riverside Park on the map) at the bottom of the
depression. In 1929, we moved to Pepperwood and with
the aid of favorable climatic conditions and good soil
(that does not need irrigation), and after years of diligent
hard work, we were able to produce a product that
is highly praised. Year after year we have never failed
to take the Blue Ribbon wherever exhibited and we were
awarded a Red Ribbon at the State Fair in Sacramento.
In producing a good product there are always numerous
obstacles to overcome. After overcoming these obstacles
there have for the past few years been numerous
growers and sellers who persist in growing and selling
“Pepperwood Corn” that was grown the good Lord only
knows where. Only a couple of weeks ago, of all the corn
that was sold by the various stores in Humboldt County,
not a single dozen was grown in Pepperwood.

We ask, are those growers of this produce unable to sell
their corn unless they represent it as “Pepperwood
Corn”, and do some of the stores take it upon themselves
to name this corn as such in order to make sales? We
personally have checked a lot of the corn advertised as
“Pepperwood Corn” and have found it to be of inferior
quality. This of course has a very unfavorable reaction
on our product and as everyone knows … it is illegal to
misrepresent.

We, therefore, have taken legal action to bring to justice
those who are so flagrantly abusing the Law. After growing
a good product for thirty-one ( 3 1 ) years here in
Pepperwood, we are not going to stand idly by and see
our efforts nullified by unscrupulous growers. We let
you, the Public, be the Judge of a superior product. (Eureka Humboldt Standard 9/15/1962

The more modern farmers aren’t so pugnacious. (Go here and see what’s offered at one Pepperwood stand.  Infrequently updated but still worth a look. ) But the corn and other vegies are worth the drive and, hey, you can still see the statue of a corn cob–a true splinter of Americana practically right in your backyard. And you get a chance to drive the Avenue before the rains sit in.  (I love Pepperwood)

______

Photo provided by local historian, Jerry Rohde from the Humboldt Co. Historical Society’s Collection, to Food for Thought, a wonderful local blog that is updated only infrequently.

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16 comments

  • There used to be 2 corn “statues”, one on each end of town. You can still find the south “statue” buried in the bushes next to the Avenue.

  • They were hit hard by the 64 flood also. Then again most places were.

  • They were hit hard by the 64 flood also. Then again most places were.

  • Great story. Remove the word “corn” and replace it with “cannabis” and we have history repeating itself.

  • Great story. Remove the word “corn” and replace it with “cannabis” and we have history repeating itself.

  • Pepperwood corn is the bomb. Thanks for the word, Kym. Tomorrow I’ll be looking forward to picking some up on the way by.

    One of the local farmers used to sell his fresh corn at the County Fair. 50 cents an ear, piping hot out of the steaming pot, with all the fixings—butter, salt, pepper. He and his family picked it early that morning. By far the simplest, freshest, and best tasting food for a Fair, it was pretty popular. Folks used to make a beeline to their humble concession in droves. Who wouldn’t? It was not only good– it was great! Everyone loves the rare treat of freshly picked corn and the price was right. I wish someone would pick up that sideline again.

    The Sarvinski’s are nice folks, their farm a gem, and their tomatoes and basil outrageously good. And their blackberry popsicles. All the fruit you need is in the Pepperwood pop.

    Many folks have been out picking their blackberries now, too. It’s been a late growing season coming—and summer’s almost over. Sigh.

  • Pepperwood corn is the bomb. Thanks for the word, Kym. Tomorrow I’ll be looking forward to picking some up on the way by.

    One of the local farmers used to sell his fresh corn at the County Fair. 50 cents an ear, piping hot out of the steaming pot, with all the fixings—butter, salt, pepper. He and his family picked it early that morning. By far the simplest, freshest, and best tasting food for a Fair, it was pretty popular. Folks used to make a beeline to their humble concession in droves. Who wouldn’t? It was not only good– it was great! Everyone loves the rare treat of freshly picked corn and the price was right. I wish someone would pick up that sideline again.

    The Sarvinski’s are nice folks, their farm a gem, and their tomatoes and basil outrageously good. And their blackberry popsicles. All the fruit you need is in the Pepperwood pop.

    Many folks have been out picking their blackberries now, too. It’s been a late growing season coming—and summer’s almost over. Sigh.

  • PEPPERWOOD & SHIVLEY LOOM HUGE. THE PRODUCE THERE IS THE STUFF CULINARY DREAM ARE MADE OF….

    ~JAMES~

  • PEPPERWOOD & SHIVLEY LOOM HUGE. THE PRODUCE THERE IS THE STUFF CULINARY DREAM ARE MADE OF….

    ~JAMES~

    • Wonderful produce. I know because my grandfather Albert Porter grew corn there for many years. Also I worked picking tomatoes for Hump Cook, and then worked in his stand selling the vegetables. Wonderful memories.

  • Their tomatoes are hard to beat too.

  • Their tomatoes are hard to beat too.

  • Well said Skippy, but I would have capitalized the words BLACKBERRY POPSICLES. Don’t drive away til you have finished your first one, chances are another one will be craved. An’ they’re cheap.

  • Well said Skippy, but I would have capitalized the words BLACKBERRY POPSICLES. Don’t drive away til you have finished your first one, chances are another one will be craved. An’ they’re cheap.

  • I don’t believe it. im sure they grow just as good corn in willow creek

  • I don’t believe it. im sure they grow just as good corn in willow creek

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