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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only fresh-shucked daily column with a gut full of sweet corn.

We’re licking our chops as the fruits and vegetables of Colorado’s Western Slope harvest make their way into our pantry.

Olathe sweet corn, Palisade peaches and mounds of cherries, apples and okra get those salivary glands pumping.

We spent some time kicking around the farms out there during last year’s harvest, riding heavy equipment and speaking to anyone with a couple spare minutes.

It was tough ” these people work 60 or more hours per week this time of year.

And harvesting sweet corn is no easy task: each ear must be picked by hand.

The product bruises too easily for traditional harvester machines.

The laborers come from Mexico on hotly debated worker visas.

They rise at the crack of dawn to shuffle through the fields all day, picking the corn and boxing it on a massive machine.

The ears are shipped as far as Alaska and Virginia.

It’s just peachy that a state so well-known for mountains, outdoor sports and microbreweries could have such a remarkable agriculture presence.

The timeless craft may be shrinking ” nationally as well as in Colorado ” but we’re savoring it while it lasts.

We’re pretty certain the jalapenos and tomatoes grown nearby are salmonella-free.

And they taste better, too.


Congratulations to Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson!

She recently earned a master’s degree in forensic science with a minor in investigations from National University in San Diego.

Her thesis concerned victims’ positions in confined-space drowning and homicides. The settings usually involve bathtubs, pools, hot tubs and sinks.

She said she found that bruising between the shoulders is often a sign of foul play.

Richardson’s research involved travels to Las Vegas and St. Louis; she reviewed more than 100 cases.


Richardson also found time amidst investigating and researching death to have a special cat enclosure installed in her back yard (see photo).

“I know many people think cats can be worthless creatures.

I think the affectionate ones are wonderful,” she said in an e-mail.

Considering the intimidating predator sightings we’ve received lately (see other photo), this may well be the most viable approach to guarding small animals.

Plus we figure any advice offered from someone so involved with homicide is probably worth heeding.

She said the apparatus was made in Canada, and more information is available at


It’s Thursday, and we’re tracking down tickets to the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival ” a nationally recognized event with unlimited roasted and boiled corn.

Send your favorite sweet-corn recipes to

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