Owatonna grower known for tomatoes adds indoor strawberries

With more space to test new crops, Bushel Boy Farms is now growing and selling strawberries — its first attempt to market anything other than tomatoes in its 30-year history.

The Owatonna-based company specializes in greenhouse farming that allows it to grow produce all year in Minnesota. A recently completed expansion has opened up new possibilities for the enterprise. Once its strawberry business is well-established, Bushel Boy plans to launch into other berries and veggies, too.

"This is our third crop of strawberries; the first was to really fine-tune the growing aspect and prove out the market acceptance, which did well beyond what we expected," said Chuck Tryon, Bushel Boy's president since October 2020. "These are more what you'd get out of a garden or pick-your-own field: smaller but much more flavorful and sweeter."

The company's first strawberries were harvested in early 2020, and the latest batch of indoor-grown berries are now for sale in the Twin Cities at retailers like Lunds & Byerlys and Kowalski's Market.

"With the success of strawberries, consumers have given us permission to be more than just tomatoes," Tryon said. "We're looking at other berries and vegetables — like cucumbers, peppers, eggplants — that we could grow well."

Read the complete article at www.startribune.com.


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