by Kathryn Orme
Joyce Ford and Jim Riddle began Blue Fruit Farm in 2008. This organic farm in Winona, Minnesota grows a variety of nutrient-packed berries, including aronia berries, black currants, blueberries, honeyberries, and elderberries. They also grow and sell cherry plums and plums. Additionally, they sell jams and juices made from their antioxidant-rich fruits. These fruits are even more nutritious because the perennial shrubs are tended with the utmost care for soil health.
Organic methods are used throughout the entire farm, and all of the fruit is hand-picked, which ensures customers will receive fruit with the highest quality and amount of nutrients possible. Some of their practices include reusing compostable materials such as grass clippings and prunings, weeding by hand, and feeding plants with kelp and fish. The farm is currently being managed by Natalie and Ben McAvoy, who are working to eventually take over the farm for Joyce and Jim.
The McAvoys are learning all about the farming operations before they take over the responsibility. They’ve enjoyed being a part of a sustainable operation that provides local people with locally grown food. Their background in agriculture traces back to their small garden at home where they grew everything organically. They are excited to grow this business and become more productive with new innovations, while always following organic methods.
These methods result in incredibly flavorful and delicious fruits, as well as health benefits provided by the abundance of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The McAvoys emphasize that locally grown food is special in quality and that it is important for consumers to know where their food comes from. Local farmers deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and supported by their communities. They hope for more people to become aware of local foods available to them and take the chance to enjoy them.
Lucky for us, you can find jams and juices made with this blue fruit goodness at the Fall 2021 FEAST! Online Marketplace and Festival. Learn more at local-feast.org/shop-bluefruitfarm.
Kathryn Orme is a second year nutrition student at the University of Minnesota. She plans to become a Registered Dietitian and eventually open her own practice, specializing in sports nutrition. She’s interested in holistic nutrition as well and enjoys learning about local food businesses who share innovative ideas in the nutrition and agriculture fields.