By Jon Vanderford
Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2018
HENDERSON, Neb.- Aronia berries are becoming a popular form of alternative agriculture in Nebraska.
We recently spent some time near Henderson learning about the aronia berry industry. "Aronia berries are getting a good start now, and people are beginning to get educated about the health benefits of them," Keenan Friesen said. Friesen is with a local aronia berry company called "Truronia".
"We wanted to be new, we wanted to do something that no one else was doing, just to be diversified as much as we could," Friesen said. "I grew up on a farm, so this is getting back to the true roots."
During our visit to an aronia berry field near Henderson, we watched as the aronia berries were picked by machine. "When we got into this, we watched quite a few different machines. We knew that we didn't want to pick them by hand," Friesen said. It turns out the machine Friesen uses is made in Poland, and Poland grows more aronia berries then anyone else in the world.
Not much land is needed to grow aronia berries. "But to make it worth while though you need 5 or 10 acres," Friesen said. Four or five families came together to create a company called Truronia. Juice products are made through the company. "We are taking berries from the field, all the way to the grocery store shelves," Friesen said. He notes that having a group of farmers working together on the project helps, as it would be a hard endeavor to do alone. The berries are processed at a factory in Hastings.
If you would like more information on the health benefits of Truronia berries, check out their website.