Arnold Acres

Welcome to Arnold Acres, which is located near Syracuse, Nebraska!

We are passionate about growing healthy foods in a sustainable manner. We grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and produce our own jams and jellies! In addition, we provide Edible Landscaping Services, Tree and Shrub Pruning, and Windbreak Planning and Planting Services.

Larry has had a passion for growing things since he was a young boy, in this mother's garden. He has more than thirty years of experience in the field of soil science with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. He is pursuing his passion to provide healthy food to local communities using sustainable methods. Mary Kay is the creative one! She loves making jellies and jams in our kitchen from the fruits of our combined labors.

Stop by and visit with us at a Farmer's Market near you! Come to see and taste for yourself, how Healthy Soil = Healthy Food!


The Sour Berry That Is Good For You-Aronia

Since I was a kid I have always loved berries.  Blueberries and strawberries were always my favorites.  When I had the means to grow my own berries I tried a lot of different ones.  Aronia berries or Black Chokeberries, because of their sour taste was not a favorite of mine until I became informed of how many health benefits are attributed to this berry.  They are what you call astringent, which means they are sour and make you pucker when you eat them raw.  Some people confuse them with chokecherries, but they are not the same although chokecherries are also astringent.  Aronia berries are higher in antioxidant value than the sweeter, better tasting berries we are all familiar with such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. In fact, they have some of the highest levels of antioxidants available in any plant food. They are known as a healthy Superfood in some circles.



The genus species name is Aronia melonocarpa, and as a food product, the dark purple to black berries can be consumed in many ways to receive the health benefits.  Eating fresh by themselves may not please the palate of a lot of people, but you can use them in the following foods; wine, syrup, juice, soft spreads, tea, salsa, beer, ice cream, gummies, yogurt and baked goods.  They are also a popular ingredient in fruit smoothies.

The Aronia berry plant has been a very attractive ornamental for the landscape for a long time. In the springtime, its white flowers are very attractive.  Later on, when the flowers are pollinated, green berries form in clusters and turn to dark purple to black in August.  In the winter the twigs are attractive.  There are very few insects or diseases that bother it or its fruit.  

Poland is the biggest producer of Aronia berries in the world as it harvests close to 80% of the worlds berries.  Iowa leads the US in production and in 1967 research was done in that state to determine its food value and the best varieties to use.  The Native Americans used the berries as a treatment for several ailments and used the dark tannins in the skin of the berry for dyes and warpaint.

Much research has been going on concerning the potentially tremendous health benefits of the Aronia berry.  The potential for it to become a more household name on the food chain is great.  It may someday rival the cranberry, blueberry, and strawberry for popularity as a small fruit in our diet.  To learn more about Aronia berries, their benefits,  and for recipes, please check out the following website: https://midwestaronia.org/

We are Proud to be the Feature Farm on the Buy Fresh Buy Local Website this Week

It has been a while since I blogged and am finding it difficult to find the time to do it, as we are in the heart of the vegetable garden season in both producing and marketing our jams, jellies, vegetables, and fruits.  Currently, we have available to sell many jams and jellies, green beans, summer squash, cucumbers, potatoes, snow peas, Saskatoon berries (service), pie cherries.   It is hard work but very rewarding in the fact that we are not only bringing in income by doing it but also doing a labor of love.     I will probably do much more blogging in the fall and winter as I have more time.  This week we are proud of the fact that we are the featured farm on the Buy Fresh Buy Local Website.......................
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What is Currently Available at Arnold Acres We Are Currently Bringing to Market

Despite the cold late spring difficulties and now the early arrival of hot weather, we have been able to produce some vegetables and strawberries to take to market.  We started the season out this year in Bennett on Wednesday evenings during the month of May.  Now we will transition to Papillion here on the last Wednesday of May and be there for the rest of the summer.  We took on a new market in Brownville this year on Friday evenings.  The produce that we currently have available for the market are the following; radishes, onions, spinach, lettuce, both snow and snap peas, and strawberries...........
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How Does The Cold Late Spring Affect Gardening in Southeast Nebraska

This spring has been a major challenge in our attempt at Arnold Acres to have produce available for the markets by the 1st week of May.  We are planning to be at the Bennett Farmers Market on Wednesdays for the month of May, and at the Brownville Farmers Market on Fridays  starting the 1st week of May until the end of September.  We will go to Papillion Farmers Market on Wednesdays instead of Bennett starting the 1st week of June,  and be there until the end of August.    Be sure to check out the "Find Us!" section on this website.............
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What I Want to Accomplish With This Blog

I want to introduce myself to you and talk a bit about what I want to accomplish in my blogs. I recently retired from the USDA/NRCS in Soil Survey which gave me a real insight into soil science and the importance of our soils in our everyday life...
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