AKRON, IA — "The aronia farm here is just outstanding. I had no idea that this was out here in Iowa," said a Farm to Fork tour participant. "It's great. We're certainly happy to have the Siouxland Nutritional Foods Group here in Akron today to showcase what Lucken's Bluebird Ranch has to offer," said Akron Mayor Harold Higman. Farm to Fork tours started in 2012 as a way to get people from urban and rural areas out into the community. It's a chance for locals to get on board and meet the producers that are growing their foods locally. "You're in the real farm and pick up your own apples, pick up your own aronia and taste it. It's so wonderful," said a tour participant. Farmer John Lucken bought the farm in 2006. Lucken said, "the area that we have our Bluebird Springs Apple and Aronia Orchard was always in pasture." The best part of the tour is how fresh and ripe the fruits are compared to grocery store produce. The Farm to Fork tour included stops at the Tentinger Family Dairy Farm in Remsen, C. Brown Farm in Merrill and Tucker Hill Vineyard and Winery in Hinton. "It's been a fabulous trip, it's always exciting to take a group of people out," said Regional Food Coordinator Laurie Taylor. "We went to a dairy local, family owned dairy that's been in the same family for over a hundred thirty years. And this is what it's all about. Making sure they have the markets to keep those farms and families for years and years to come."
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