When Becky and Jesse Huang first moved out into rural Mason City from town, they never dreamed they would become “farmers”, yet when Jesse lost his job of twenty years the Huang’s needed another source of income for themselves and their 7 children. And so, with the help of their Mennonite friends and neighbors, they learned how to grow their own fruits and vegetables on their 3.5 acre farm.
“All our farming practices are chemical free,” says Becky Huang, “at the time of starting our business, we noticed that it was difficult to find stores and vendors growing their products without the use of chemicals. For the needs of our family and for the benefit of our customers, we decided to fill that niche”.
North Iowa Berries and More has a vast selection of both fruits and vegetables and also regularly sells baked goods at both the Clear Lake and North Iowa Farmers Markets. The first few weeks of market season are usually pretty slow, but Becky and her family are pleased to be bringing a wide selection of greens, radishes, asparagus and rhubarb to the first few market dates. Customers can also expect to see a variety of baked goods including their infamous whole wheat cinnamon swirl bread and their lemon jelly, a crowd favorite. The Huang family buys all organic grains and mills them themselves. They also have many gluten free options for their consumers.
North Iowa Berries and More has been marketing their chemical free produce and fruit at the North Iowa Farmers Market for 5 years now. “We enjoy the family atmosphere that the market provides,” Becky said. “All the vendors look out for each other and we really enjoy being able to interact directly with our consumers”. The Huang’s children are excellent help on the farm and at the market, often handling the majority of the marketing and connecting with consumers.
“Buying local is buying fresh,” adds Becky. “Our produce and fruit are picked within 24 hours of the market day and are picked at the peak of its nutrition. You can’t always find that in the grocery store.”
To learn more about the Huang family and their business, please visit their website at northiowaberries.com or “like” their Facebook page, @northiowaberries.
Come visit North Iowa Berries and More and our other numerous vendors this afternoon (Friday, May 19th) from 4:00-6:30 p.m. at the North Iowa Farmers Market (corner of 1st NE and Delaware in Mason City). With over fifteen vendors attending the opening market, we are sure to have a wide selection of high quality, locally produced goods and produce for you to choose from. Looking forward to seeing you there!