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Aronia berries at Good Berry Farms

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 10:18 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - You can find plenty of corn and cattle in Nebraska, but at one Paxton business, the owner has found a niche growing aronia berries.

We stopped at Good Berry Farms at Paxton to talk with owner Leah Fote about her unique venture. “When I purchased the property, we had 20 acres,” Fote said. “I was trying to figure out what I could grow here. I didn’t want to grow corn or soybeans because it’s only 20 acres. I came across aronia berries in an article, and I did some research. I knew they would grow well here with the soils, so I decided to go for it, and we planted 24,000 bushes in 2015.”

During the pandemic, many people sought out Fote’s aronia berry products, because of the health and wellness benefits. “It’s kind of like a multi-vitamin, you get a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with these products,” Fote said. “With aronia berries you get a natural immune boost.”

Some say elderberries are good for immunity, but Fote says aronia berries offer even more health and wellness benefits. Among the products made at Paxton are aronia syrup for wellness, and aronia powders. But there are also sweet and tasty items such aronia jelly, chocolate sauce, and pancake syrup.

“I get plenty of help from my family and my husband,” Fote said. “But I also have a great crew of ladies at my business. They help me get it all done. We use a blueberry harvester to pick the aronia berries, and then we bring them to a processing facility where we wash and dry them. We put them in the freezer, and I pull them out as I use them. In addition to what we do, I ship a lot of the berries to a smoothie franchise in Colorado. We harvest around Labor Day.”

If you’d like to learn more, be sure to stop by Good Berry Farms which is right at the entrance to Paxton off Interstate 80.

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