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Wimmer Farms to start new CSA in June

Published: Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 12:17 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 4:32 p.m. CDT
Denny Wimmer of Arispe grows certified naturally-grown produce to offer a sustainable, chemical-free and locally-grown alternative for the dining table.

ARISPE — What if you could feed your family nutritious and naturally-grown meals for less than $4 a day?

Denny Wimmer of Arispe will be offering the opportunity for local families to do just that.

Wimmer, who took over his parent’s 93-year-old farm, will be offering a weekly community supported agriculture (CSA) program as early as June. His mission: to offer “delicious, fresh, healthy, locally-grown food.”

The basics

Wimmer will be offering “shares” to the public for $25 to $30 a week.

A share is a box containing certified naturally-grown fruits and vegetables, such as lettuce, kale, tomatoes, beets, carrots, asparagus, potatoes, radishes, squash, peppers and watermelon.

“Almost all of the vegetables you can think of,” said Wimmer.

According to Wimmer, each share will include vegetable or fruit servings for three to four people for one week.

Shares may be ordered on an individual basis or prepaid for the entire season, which runs mid-June through the end of September.

And if you’re concerned about price or your veggies going bad before you can eat them all, Wimmer said friends can split a share.

Additionally, each box will contain recipes to help make use of all the fresh produce for that week and help subscribers prepare meals with ingredients they may not be familiar with.

New crops

This past fall, Wimmer planted more than 4,000 aronia bushes, which will be ready for their first harvest in 2016 and produce annually after that.

The future aronia berries — which are gaining popularity in the United States based on its high levels of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins — will be sold “mostly wholesale.” Wimmer said aronia berries are becoming more common to use in products produced by juice companies and other products such as jam, sauces and beauty products.

From his 4,000 aronia bushes, Wimmer can expect to yield 20 to 30 pounds per bush. His goal is to plant a total of 15,000 aronia bushes.

Way to grow

Compost tea, an organic form of pest control, is a new offering from Wimmer Farms this year.

In simple terms, compost tea is created by a process, which extracts beneficial microorganisms from compost, fed nutrients and allowed to rapidly multiply. Air is processed through the liquid to oxygenate it, which favors the good bacteria and allows it to grow.

This process results in a concentrated liquid full of billions of microorganisms to spray on home gardens and fields.

According to Wimmer, compost tea use can reduce fertilizer cost, increases yields, helps increase organic matter and reduce water use.

“It’s a win-win all around,” he said.

Shopping local

Produce from Wimmer Farms is offered at Hy-Vee in Creston and Osceola, through Iowa Food Cooperative online at www.iowafood.coop and at farmers’ markets in Creston, Afton, Mount Ayr, Osceola and Des Moines.

For more information on Wimmer Farms, products, locations or to order online, visit Wimmer Farms on the web at www.wimmerfarms.com.

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