About 70 miles northeast of Sioux City near Sanborn sits a farm not often found in Iowa, with a crop normally seen in Florida and California.
The strawberry fields of Getting's Garden are full of the popular red berries, and a must-stop for many families every summer.
"Dad got the idea from his uncle that farms on the Iowa River down by Montour. He's got an orchard and berry farm there. His Uncle Horace told him, Hey, maybe put out an acre of berries, and they did," said Andy Getting. "They did that in '83 and that first year, dad will tell you it was one of his best, best yielding years ever you know. Beginner's luck per se."
Strawberries have been around for centuries, used by the ancient Romans as a treatment for fevers, sore throats and depression. At Getting's Garden, the berries are now used as not only a tasty treat but a way to make lasting memories with family and friends.
"It's an experience you won't get anywhere else and it's a good family experience," Getting said. He's one of the co-owners of Getting's Garden. "A lot of people, it's like their summer tradition. It's a once-a-year or twice-a-year outing that people really enjoy, and it's not something that you can just do everywhere else."
Even with the drought conditions in Iowa, this year's crop has been good.
"Seasons been really good. We've had good yields this year," Getting said. "We've had to irrigate a lot and we had a cool start to the year, so we were frost protecting them many nights, and then with heat, we've been misting a lot. If I could give you the perfect forecast for strawberry season, it'd be like 70 to 75 degrees and a light breeze."
But how do you know when the strawberries are ready for picking? Simple, Getting says.
"A lot of the berries, traditionally, are on the edges of the plant. You want to pick up the berries to make sure that they're all, they're all good and, and, you know, as long as they're all red, and they look good, you just pull it right off the vine."
For the team at Getting's Garden, their short, 3-4 week season may not last too long, but it's the community and friends they make along the way that means the most.
"To see the effort, the hard work that's been put into it, and the appreciation we get from our customers, and knowing that when they're leaving they're leaving with a product that was grown in a way that's better for them than what they would get someplace else," Getting said, "that gives us a lot of gratification."
Getting's Garden will end its season this weekend. You can learn more and find out how you can get your hands on their strawberries, by following them on Facebook.
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