A new business has sprouted up 10 miles north of Aitkin.
Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens, located at the former site of Great River Gardens on Hwy. 169, is serving as a compliment to John Chute’s current beef business across the highway.
Chute is working in collaboration with Wilma and Nick Landrus, who for the previous 10 years had been working on the very land Chute purchased at auction in the summer of 2013.
The Landruses purchased two of the greenhouses and Chute bought the property. The partnership is building a new business, focusing on the expertise of the Landruses and their extensive knowledge of growing vegetables, fruits and flowers.
Although the business is starting small, the selection of items is extensive. Already available to the public are a wide-variety of plants, bedding plants and asparagus. Starter plants like watermelons, squash, cucumbers and cantelopes are ready.
While the hot, then dry, then wet weather has curtailed the Landruses from planting, this past week they’ve been busy getting “just about every vegetable you can grow,” into the ground, said Nick.
Inside the greenhouse, marigolds, petunias, moss roses, cosmos, cleome and alyssum flowers are blooming alongside several other varieties.
Vegetables include Kohlrabi, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts and early and late cabbage.
Chute said the business promotes locally as much as possible. Patrons can come out and pick their own fruits, such as strawberries, but Chute said orders can be delivered on a limited basis. Locally-hired hands at the farm are also important to Chute, as is using local businesses for materials.
“We are community focused,” said Chute. “We want to support, build and grow the area,” he said, speaking also on behalf of his wife, Debbie.
Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens will continue to be at the farmer’s market in Aitkin Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon at the Butler Building. No longer will there be an outlet store in Aitkin, however, the Farm Fresh Gardens has on-site retail for the plants and vegetables, and also includes artwork by Wilma and canned goods made by Nick and Wilma.
Hours of operation are roughly 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. To contact Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens, call 218-927-3987.