Meet Reed’s Green Growers just outside Lincoln, Nebraska!
A dynamic regional laboratory and model for alternative energy, eco-friendly businesses and self-sustaining agriculture on a farm near Lincoln, Nebraska.
What Reed’s Green Growers offers:
- Nursery Trees
- Aronia Berries
- Seasonal Vegetables like Sweet Corn & Tomatoes
- Chicken Eggs
“We’re excited to share our love of growing plants with you.”
Amongst the corn and soybeans of Lancaster County Nebraska, life is being breathed into a fourth generation family farm. Reed’s Green Growers is a beloved vision of the Reed Family. The farm seeks to be an environment for sustainable agriculture innovation and energy alternatives. The farm is owned by sisters Rosemary, Julie and Alice, along with nephews Jesse and Dakota. This family brings a diversity of expertise, skills and interests to the project, and the resulting farm reflects that diversity with a wide range of projects and products. A common thread of Reed’s Green Growers is their commitment to sustainability - be that building soil health, growing crops with climate resilience, or raising high-value crops that increase the likelihood of financial stability and longevity.
Farm manager Dakota Dzerk is happy to be growing and living on the land where his grandfather was born and where his mother was raised. “I love being out here - I am able to put all the skills I’ve picked up in life to use. Getting to figure out how to grow something is really satisfying.” says Dakota who studied horticulture at UNL, and has grown up around the industry. His mother, Alice, is an expert gardener who heads the Lincoln Parks and Recreation’s Public Gardens division.
Dakota has a passion for growing landscape trees that do well in Nebraska's climate and growing conditions. What’s his pick for best all-around-tree tree for Nebraska? “It’s got to be the Taylor Juniper.” The Taylor Juniper is a tree native to Nebraska it is actually a type of eastern red cedar. It grows in a tall conical-columnar form, reaching 25’ tall but only 3’ wide. A fun fact about the Taylor Juniper- it was observed and collected in the 1970's near the town of Taylor. It was grown out for ten years to observe it’s habits and develop stock, and was introduced to the public in 1992. Dakota has a fondness for these trees because they are hardy, disease resistant, adapt well to any soil and can be used for a variety of purposes - from ornamental privacy screens, to agricultural windbreaks.
In addition to nursery trees, the farm raises laying hens and grows vegetables, aronia berries (choke berries), and hemp for fiber. As a licensed hemp producer, the farm grows hemp that is used to make long-strand fiber, which is ultimately used for textiles, cordage and other products. After growing, harvesting and baling the product, Reed’s Green Growers transports the baled hemp to a facility in Kansas that processes the raw product into forms that manufacturers can utilize.
“In everything we are doing we’re starting small, seeing what works, what can be a viable business, and what matches our interests,” says Dzerk. In hemp production, they have trialed several different varieties to see what works best in their growing conditions. In vegetable production, they’ve steadily grown and are finishing building a large hoophouse to be used for season extension or high value crops. A hoophouse is an unheated or minimally heated greenhouse that uses passive solar heating to extend the season of horticultural crops. With the extra heat and protection they provide growers can produce seasonal crops in early spring and into late winter.
Get in touch with these passionate farmers to buy aronia berries, seasonal veggies, chicken eggs and nursery trees!
Reed’s Green Growers Introduction Video: