Owners of a Nebraska produce farm, which was named a 2021 Nebraska Passport destination, are busy preparing for their spring and summer customers.
Pekarek’s Produce near Dwight, Nebraska, is one of the region’s well-known produce farms with one heated greenhouse, five unheated greenhouses and 15 acres of vegetable and fruit crops.
Owners Ryan and Katie Pekarek, with the help of their children and local employees, grow about 30 fruits and vegetables year round. Growing numerous crops requires diligent management, but Ryan said many components are similar to row crop farming.
“It’s probably a lot more like row crop farming than people think,” he said. “We’re prepping the soil, and we do cover crops in the fall and the spring.”
In addition, Ryan said they send in soil samples just like row crop producers, but instead of getting a grain yield, they can get a yield for crops like watermelon, cucumbers and tomatoes.
“We plant almost all year. Typically, we would plant something in January but that didn’t work this year. It was just too cold,” he said.
Ryan said instead, he’ll plant from now until early September, and he can typically harvest plants 12 months out of the year.
Produce from the farm can be bought on-site, via a weekly vegetable subscription or in local markets like Super Saver, HyVee and Russ’s Markets in the Lincoln area.