There was a rumor floating around the communities of Blooming Prairie and Owatonna last week that trumpeted the candidacy of Terry Jordan for “commissioner of fruits and vegetables” in Steele County.
On most days during week, you can find Jordan at fruits and vegetables stands in Blooming Prairie or Owatonna.
“Where’s your pink hat?” some customers ask. Jordan has retired that beacon and now braids her hair.
The past few years, Jordan was stationed in Blooming Prairie. She was re-assigned to Owatonna near the beginning of the growing season this year. Many of her Blooming Prairie customers have followed her to Owatonna.
In Blooming Prairie, Jordan set up her stand just south of Eagle Prairie Insurance. In Owatonna, she is located just south of Kwik Trip.
Decked out in her farmer’s overalls and sometimes known to go barefoot, she is a proud seller of fruits and vegetables raised in the Eyota area. She resides in Kasson with husband Jason.
Jordan still hawks fruits and vegetables even though she has passed her teenage years. That’s when she began working for Eyota farmers Mike and Karen Blatner. She worked for them over 4½ years.
Jordan says she loves her job and treats every customer with dignity and persuasion. The quality of fruits and vegetables she sells for Produce Plus is what keeps her busy during the summer months.
Jordan opened her stands this year in mid-July. She will continue selling into the fall.
Of all the produce she sells, tomatoes and corn sell the best. The Black Diamond watermelons are also top sellers. Jordan brings five bushels of tomatoes per day. On some days she will have 40 melons on the truck.
Jordan has cultivated many friendships over the years, mainly because she treats them with a personal touch.
“If my customers have a complaint about an item, I will replace it,” she says.
Jordan also regards herself as an artist because of the way she dramatizes the appeal of a food item to her customers. She confides in her customers that she can be seen at home enjoying some hand-picked tomatoes.
“I love my job,” she proudly says.
This is how Jordan describes her love affair with her fruits and vegetables: “I can vocalize my top products like tomatoes. They are juicy, firm, and sweet. Corn explodes in your mouth.”
The load going from her pick up point in Eyota to Owatonna, she says, must be around 500 pounds. It includes corn (half of the truck box), four bushels of tomatoes, one-half bushel of onions, a half bushel of zucchini, a half bushel of cucumbers, six heads of cabbage, a half bushel of bell peppers, winter squash when it is in season, and 40-60 melons.
Jordan also accommodates canners who need larger quantities.
The cash register (in her head) has been clicking often from last July 16 until now and beyond.
Just recently, Jordan took two days off after working a month straight. What does she do when she is not working her fruits and vegetables stands? She says she works on her truck and takes lots of naps.
Two of Jordan’s grandchildren help her at the food stand. Following grandma’s training are Richard, 12 and Ella,11.
An extra bonus Jordan receives is when customers ask her for popular recipes.
“Hey, I’ve got a great recipe for freezing sweet corn,” she smiles.
Stop by to see Jordan even if you don’t plan to buy anything. Odds are high that you will leave her stand with something juicy and delicious.
Frozen Sweet Corn
From Terry Jordan’s Kitchen
First, buy 70 ears of corn for $75
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tbsp of salt
Cut the corn off the cob for all 70 ears and put it in a big bowl. Mix it with sugar and salt, and let it set for 5 minutes. Put the corn in a bag and freeze it.
When you cook it, put the corn in a pan frozen with little bit of butter.