The berry wing of Locally Laid Egg Company, Farm LoLa, opened its three acres of raspberries to the public Tuesday in a soft launch. Pickers got over 100 pounds off the field, but berry lovers need not worry. The fields have over eight times the fruit over last season.
"Our expert, Thaddeus McCamant, says we have approximately 15,000 pounds of berries this year," said Jason Amundsen, co-owner of the farm. He credits the productivity to the "really good soil here in Wrenshall and the hard work we'd done with natural amendments, like fish fertilizer and chicken manure."
The berry operation is in its second year; just as well-known operators such as the Finke's Berry Farm and the Lakewood Berry Farm announced they will close their gates for retirement.
This speaks to the aging farmer population, with the state average at 55 years old.
"Farming is very risky and even if a young person is willing to take that on, land prices are often out of reach," said Lucie Amundsen, farm co-owner. "It can be a hard game, but there are moments of real beauty."
One such moment happened earlier this week as small children ran in the field with dirt and raspberry juice on their faces, followed by their mom toting filled pails.
"One can see the appeal of the iconic summer activity," Jason said.
For more information, visit www.FarmLoLa.com or call Jason at 612-245-0450.