I’d never heard of the aronia berry (AKA black chokeberry) until I read this recent piece from Marcelle Richards for Isthmus. Richards features brothers-in-law Dale Nelson and Bill O’Brien of Bellbrook Berry Farm in Brooklyn, Wisconsin. As Richards reports,
Bellbrook is the first aronia-only farm in Wisconsin. At 12 acres, it’s right where they want it to be: small, sustainable and local, O’Brien says. Bellbrook offers plants from the greenhouse for interested growers. The frozen berries are hitting store shelves in Madison at Jenifer Street Market, Metcalfe’s Market-Hilldale and Willy Street Co-op East; they’re also available at Yahara Grocery Co-op in Stoughton and Trillium Natural Foods in Mount Horeb.
Head here for the full article, including info about the reported health benefits of aronia berries. Then head to the farm’s website (or Facebook page) to see a couple of the best looking berry farmers you’re likely to find, along with a planting guide, a few recipes, and much more. Finally, check out the YouTube videos below. The first covers the birth and infancy of Bellbrook, and the second takes viewers up close for harvesting and processing.