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Detour sweet deal for corn selling-kids near Hancock

One of the signs announcing sweet corn for sale. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times1 / 2
Asher and Tabitha Bjerketvedt are selling sweet corn, eggs and honey in a stand along Stevens County Road 1 near Hancock. The stand is along a detour for Minnesota Highway 9. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times2 / 2

A detour is a business opportunity for the kids of Rachel and Adam Bjerketvedt of rural Hancock.

Minnesota Highway 9 has a detour this summer because of bridge work on the Pomme de Terre River. Traffic is directed around Morris on Stevens County Road 1 into Hancock. The Bjerketvedts live along County Road 1.

"It was dad's idea," Tabitha Bjerketvedt, 11, said of having a sweet corn stand along the road.

Tabitha and her brother Asher, 8, were operating the stand on the afternoon of Aug. 1. Their dad figured traffic on the detour route would stop for sweet corn, the kids said.

The kids are selling sweet corn at $5 a dozen, jars of honey for $7 and a dozen brown eggs for $2. Tabitha is also selling lemonade at 50 cents a glass.

"We usually start around 3 p.m. and go to about 5 p.m.," Tabitha said of the selling day.

The corn is picked in the morning so that it's ready for afternoon sales.

"We get a lot of corn in a row," Asher said. At around 3:30 p.m. Aug. 1, eight bags with a dozen ears each sat under a canopy ready for sale. "All of this came from one row," Asher said.

"We have a lot of sweet corn," Tabitha said. "We've sold four dozen so far (today)."

The family has speckled and golden nugget sweet corn available now.

The corn is ready to sell when "it's looking rich yellow and ripe. When it tastes like sweet corn," Tabitha said.

The sweet corn is planted in a field near the house, but not as close as it was in prior years, Asher said. "It used to be by the house but we planted beans there," Asher said.

The corn has grown well but they've had some problems with racoons.

"Oh yeah," Asher said of racoons eating the corn. "The corn got trampled down."

But enough corn survived to provide a good supply for sales.

Proceeds from the sale of sweet corn and eggs are given to their mom, the kids said. A family relative gets the honey money. Tabitha receives the lemonade sales money.. There is a system to distribute sales money. One piece of the system is that Tabitha shares a portion of the lemonade sales with her brother along with the tip money.

When they aren't making sales the siblings pass the time reading. Tabitha had a stack of books on one picnic table. Asher was reading about an underwater planet.

If they weren't selling sweet corn, they'd be playing along with their siblings.. Tabitha said she may also be helping to watch the youngest sibling.

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