Last weekend, I attended the Aronia Berry Festival in the Loess Hills north of Missouri Valley, Iowa. In case you haven’t heard, the aronia berry is the latest fad in health foods, high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Many Iowa farmers are putting acres into aronia berry bushes and trying to promote the berry as a cash crop. Rows of the aronia bushes can be seen to the left of the tent in the photo above.
The Sawmill Hollow Aronia Berry Farm hosted the festival, a very pretty setting in a heavily wooded area of the Loess Hills. The aronia is part of the chokecherry family, and you can instantly taste a resemblance when you try one off the bush. The blue-black, blueberry-size berry is sweet at first, but then gets stuck in the back of your mouth … lots of “pucker power”.
Two large revival-meetin’ tents were set up, where you could listen to live music, sample foods made from aronia berries, and even yell “Hallelujah” if you wanted. The ice cream was good, but the beer was awful. Yes, beer, made with a Belgian Witt recipe — too sweet for my taste. We bought some aronia berry syrup, which is excellent.
There was an old Chevy Pick-up truck, estimated 1950 vintage, parked in the back of the aronia bushes. I don’t think it was on display, but it caught my attention.
The adjacent hillside provided a nice overview of the festival. Aronia berries, check ’em out.
Thought for the Day: I read no newspaper now but Ritchie’s, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. Thomas Jefferson