Years ago, farmers used to expect their corn to be knee high by the Fourth of July and, in the past few decades, scientists have developed corn that is usually shoulder high by the Fourth, but Marvin Hess of Salt Lake City, a professor of physical education at the University of Utah and a hobby gardener, has corn that was 10 feet tall by Independence Day.
He is harvesting ears from his corn now and, while he is 6 feet 2 inches tall, his corn, grown in a family plot in Bountiful, is so high he has to reach on tiptoes to reach some of the ears."It's called candy corn and is sweet and tasty," said Hess. "I began planting seeds the first of May and planted crops every two weeks for 12 weeks so my wife, Barbara, and I will have sweet corn to eat all through August and September. Candy corn is supposed to be an 89-day variety, but it has matured in about 70 days."
In addition to corn, the gardener has crops of peas, squash, beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
Hess, 62, a native of Farmington, was an all-conference end on the U. of Utah's football team in 1949 and a wrestling coach at the university for 25 years. He gave up coaching to spend full-time teaching sports skills and is in charge of the physical education activity program at the U.