Brooklyn Park Farm Closes Produce Stand for Good
Along Highway 169 in Brooklyn Park lies six and a half acres of farmland.
It’s all that’s left of what was once an expansive 80-plus acre cornfield that had been in Charlie Fischbach’s family for more than a hundred years.
“People always liked it and said how much they appreciated the fact that we were selling them the corn,” said Fischbach. “It was a good way to do it.”
For several decades, Fischbach ran the popular produce stand Charlie’s Sweet Corn.
“For 30 years, yeah,” Fischbach said. “We had corn and pumpkins, and I sold Christmas trees, and it was a good way.”
Over the years, much of the Fischbach land was acquired through eminent domain in order to build Highway 169, on and off ramps, and drainage ponds.
All the while, the farm kept shrinking.
“It’s just really sad,” Fischbach said. “What’s running through my mind is how the government can just come in and keep pushing and pushing and shoving and moving and pushing, and they don’t compensate you for it. They can basically put you out of business and they didn’t do nothing for me.”
To be clear, Brooklyn Park has compensated the family for the various land acquisitions, but Fischbach says it hasn’t been enough.
“I got shot in the foot a couple times, I’m still trying to walk, though,” Fischbach said jokingly.
Despite the dwindling acreage, Fischbach was somehow able to produce enough corn off this land to keep running the stand.
But 2022 proved to be the final nail in the proverbial coffin.
A Facebook post written by his daughter this week announced the official end of Charlie’s Sweet Corn.
“I thought I could do it for another 10 years, easy,” he said.
Yet the loss of income, combined with what he considers a high tax rate on the remaining 6.5 acres of land, made it no longer viable.
It was an abrupt ending to a long farming career.
“The happy ending would be that I got to work with the people that long, and I got to feed that many people and it was fun,” Fischbach said. “I had a heck of a good time.”