WASECA — Beth and Brad Krause are part owners of the Organic Aronia Berry, LLC.
The three-acre field of berries is located off of County Road 4 at the BK Trucking location.
“We do an organic aronia berry field, we’re certified,” Beth Krause said. “And we are listed with Minnesota Grown, so we’re part of that produce organization in Minnesota.”
The berry bushes are never trimmed or cut back, though they could be. The Krauses choose to let them be natural. The field is mowed in between rows for upkeep, but there nothing is sprayed on the organic berries.
“It’s just educating people on how useful the berries can be and how many different ways you can use them,” Beth Krause said. “Even if you don’t want to use them for their benefit but once you see the flavor…”
The berries are called “super berries” because they have the highest antioxidants out of all berries and other fruits.
“The best way to use them for antioxidant benefit is to fresh freeze,” Beth Krause said. “Throw a handful, a quarter to a half a cup and then throw them in a smoothie or yogurt parfait mixed with blueberries or raspberries...”
Beth and Brad Krause are business partners with friends, who are the ones who brought the idea to the Krauses. The friends had family in Iowa growing Aronia berries and they wanted to try growing them, too, and the Krause’s agreed to use land on their property for the berries. They grow a field of three acres that they originally had a contractor buy each year, though the past two years they have done a ‘U pick’ berry patch.
The patch is open for picking Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for two dollars a pound or someone can call to pick them up.
Beth Krause and her partners are growing the viking aronia berry.
They have no pit and are in the chokecherry family, though they are 50 percent higher in antioxidants than blueberries according to Krause. The berry is tart with a sweet element that has a late August harvesting season that can last about a month.
Beth Krause provides a packet of recipes to everyone who picks berries from her patch. These include muffins, cookies, syrups and many other baking and cooking recipes.
Along with being a ‘U Pick’ berry field Beth Krause spoke of having them in nutrition businesses such as Top Notch Nutrition in Waseca.
“They have a really good flavor and are really good for you,” Becky Kuball of Top Notch Nutrition said. “They’re another thing to add into your regiment that’s good for you.”
Her brother and sister own nutrition clubs and her parents brought the aronia berry to Top Notch because they thought Top Notch should have an aronia berry smoothie. Since her brother is involved with the club they were able to try it out and the berry is now used in the Purple Rain smoothie.
Beth Krause continued to say that the Aronia berry smoothie at her brothers location in Faribault and her sisters location in Byron is popular.
For more information or directions there is a Facebook page called Aronia Berries, LLC people can check out.