Knowing Your Neighbor: Lola Berry Farm
A crop has been recently added that has been a process four years in the making
WRENSHALL, Minn.- A popular Northland berry farm has added a new crop, four years in the making. Lola Berry Farm is America’s first commercial honey berry orchard.
“We like to joke that the Duluth climate is very, very similar to Siberia”, says Jason Amundson, Co-Owner of Farm Lola.
Amundson, of Farm Lola says the plant is special because it’s the first type of berry to ripen, and it comes in seven different varieties.
“It has a really bright punch to it. It has in many ways the texture of a blueberry, but there’s a zest to all flavors of honey berries”, says Amundson.
With ten acres of berries and ten-thousand plants, Amundson uses a unique security system to protect his crops from hungry birds.
“We have installed these solar power bird guards over the farm. They make atrocious noise that’s totally painful, but it works and it keeps the birds from eating our fruit”, said Amundson.
Leaving more for customers like Josh Eckton of White Bear Meadery who is harvesting over 150 pounds of berries and turning them into a fermented beverage.
“The mead takes about two weeks to ferment and then once you’re with the fermentation, you let it sit and mellow out for another four weeks or so”, said Eckton.
And the newest addition to Farm Lola, allows this growing businesses to support local farms.
“This is a Minnesota farm and we wanna support the farm and also Minnesota growers”, said Eckton.
After many failed attempts at growing honey berreies in the past, for Amundson, everything is now finally coming to fruition.
“To me, it’s about getting the fruit that’s the best tasting fruit you can get. You can get it no–where else and it’s from here in Northeastern Minnesota in Wrenshall”, said Amundson.
Now Amundson also says these honey berries will be sold at SuperOne in the Twin Ports and Kowalski’s in the Twin Cities.