2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6, Page #07[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Machine Cleans "Silk" Off Sweet Corn
Ernest Schwarz, a manager at Dutch Country Hardware in Myerstown, Penn., markets the Cornsilker for the Mennonite family that invented and manufactures it.
“The magic is in the long brushes,” Schwarz says. “They are stiff enough to grab the silk, yet soft enough not to damage the kernels – no matter the diameter of the ear. The selection of the correct brushes took much trial and testing.”
To operate, plug in the Cornsilker and connect a hose on the top with cold running water. Husk the corn, snap the tail off and feed the ears point first into the Cornsilker. The four brushes spin and pull the ear through the machine. To clean the Cornsilker, let the water run 5 to 10 min. after the last ear has gone through with the brushes running.
There is nothing quite like it, Schwarz says, and it’s a very popular rental machine at the hardware store where he works. Over the 5 years the Cornsilker has been rented, the only maintenance the machines have needed is tightening the belt from the 1/3-hp motor to the first drive – just a couple of times.
Cornsilkers have been shipped all over the U.S. and Canada to farmers with produce stands, privately owned grocery stores, rental businesses and families that share the machine to process corn from their gardens.
In 2012, the 74-lb., stainless steel Cornsilker cost $671.99 (plus $80 shipping in the lower 48 states). The Mennonite manufacturers only make a limited number of Cornsilkers during December and January, based on orders. So anyone interested in one, should contact Schwarz through the Cornsilker website soon. He adds that people who don’t use electricity can special order an air motor to power the Cornsilker.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ernest Schwarz, Cornsilker, Dutch Country Hardware, 711 E. Lincoln Ave., Myerstown, Penn. 17067 (ph 717 866-8882; www.cornsilker.com).
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