Zellwood corn no longer?

Some wondered if the closing of the muck farms around Lake Apopka might also signal the final harvest of the Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival. The 25th annual festival, to be observed this weekend at the Zellwood fairgrounds will be the last preceding the June 30 closing required as part of the $90 million state and federal buyout of the farms.

Fans of the roasted ears produced by Big Bertha, the festival's humongous corn pan, needn't worry. In a move designed to engineer the rescue of the polluted lake, the farms where much of the sweet corn is grown are to shut down. But organizers say the show will go on. In the future the corn will come from area sand farms -- or be imported into this once-proud bastion of the agrarian way. "We would hate to do it, but if we have to, that's what we'll do," says spokeswoman Ellen Miller.