Aronia Berries are Here!

IMG_9541The summer is fleeting quickly and we are now full force into the aronia berry picking season.  Our berries are big and beautiful this year with the bushes loaded with up to 10 pounds of berries per plant.  Not bad for 4 year old plants!

If you are wanting to buy aronia berries in bulk, this is the week!  We are selling them for $8 a pound.  Remember, these are chemical free and grown with organic practices.

You may also buy the berries at the North Iowa Farmers Market in Mason City (Tues. and Fri. from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) and the Clear Lake Farmers Market (Sat. 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.).  1/2 pints are $3.00, pints are $6.00, and quarts are $12.00.

Our customers love aronia berries because of their health benefits.  They are very high in antioxidants, which is a huge plus when building up one’s immune system.  Google in “aronia berries” and see for yourself all the benefits!

Sometimes we are asked how to use aronia berries.  Our family personally uses them on a regular basis in smoothies, pancakes, muffins, and breads.  They are also excellent in salsa, jam, jelly, and syrup.  I consider aronia berries to be an extra shot of vitamins for our children, so I sneak them in many of the foods they eat so that they get the health benefits each and every day.  Check out our recipe page and gIMG_9522et creative with them as you cook each day!

Update on our farm production

We are now in full swing at North Iowa Berries.  Our days are filled with weeding, harvesting, filling CSA shares, taking produce to farmers markets, and more weeding.  Did we mention weeding??!!  The thistles have been horrible this year due to all the rain,  but that comes with organic farming.  We are presently looking into switching over to the Back to Eden style of gardening to help eliminate the weeding and need for irrigation.  Everything will still be grown chemical free with organic practices.

Our strawberry season began a month early this year – May 26.  Our customers raved about how sweet and juicy the berries were this year.  We have now finished up the strawberries for a few weeks and are now focusing on raspberry picking and cherry picking as the blueberries continue to ripen.  (We expect our everbearing strawberries to start up again in July, so if you missed the first season, you can still get strawberries later on.)

Our CSA harvests are coming along nicely.  Folks have enjoyed getting kale, beets, berries, broccoli, cabbage, and other veggies in their weekly shares.  We’re excited to now see our peas and zucchini ripening!

Just a reminder that we are at two farmers markets this year.  The first market is in Mason City North Iowa Farmers Market at Fleet Farm on Tuesdays and Fridays from 3-6 pm.  If you want to special order any items or have them held back for you, you must call between 9 am and 11 am to make sure that we are in to get your order.  Otherwise, we are already headed to market.  We are also at the Clear Lake Farmers Market at the Surf Ballroom on Saturdays between 9 am and noon.  Because the folks there love our produce, donuts, freshly made whole wheat breads, and berries so much, we sell out very quickly.  We also have our daughter’s lotions, soaps, and rugs at both markets, which customers love.  These items make great gifts also!  Janette is now taking special orders for both her soaps and the rugs, so feel free to call her if you have a specific size and color you want made.


Our CSA shares are full for 2015

We have been overwhelmed with the number of people here in North Iowa who want to purchase fresh produce from us on a weekly basis.  Thank you for your great response and trust in our produce!  While we want to serve as many of you as possible, we are now full and must say no to any new applications for CSA shares.  You can still purchase our produce at the North Iowa Farmers Market in Mason City (Fleet Farm – Tuesdays and Friday from 3-6 pm) and the Clear Lake Farmers Market at the Surf Ballroom on Saturdays from 9-12 pm.

Our days are now busy with planting new strawberry plants, weeding, and harvesting early greens.  The lettuce, spinach, kale, peas, cabbage, and broccoli are growing very quickly and will be ready very soon!  The pear trees and apple trees are blooming this week, so the bees are very busy as you can imagine!

If you are needing radishes, we now have them available for sale at $1.50 a bunch.  Feel free to give us a call at 641-423-0030 to schedule a time for you to come out to get some!

We also have 3 year old gogi berry plants available for $5 a plant.  These particular plants are already 5-6 feet tall and they make a good hedge with beautiful flowers in the early summer.  They DO NOT produce gogi berries but instead provide nutritious leaves full of antioxidants.  The leaves are great for vegetable soups and are good for drying to make tea.  We are moving these out so we can let our berry-producing plants grow with more space.  If you are interested in these, please call us and we’ll work out a time for you to get them.  You need to bring your own buckets to put them in for transport home.