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story.lead_photo.caption MEGAN DAVIS MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS/Rocky Acres Produce is located at 518 College Street in Rocky Comfort; the green and white sign will herald you in. The produce stand is open from sunrise to sunset, Monday through Sunday. Homemade baked goods are also available for purchase on the weekend.

Joe Borntreger leads a life founded in his family, his farm and his Amish faith. Borntreger owns and operates Rocky Acres Produce alongside his wife, Mary, and their 12 children.

The Borntregers hail from Iowa, where Joe did free-lance carpentry work, but they left the state in search of greater agricultural opportunity.

"We were looking for somewhere with warmer temperatures where we could raise produce and there were enough people to support a home business," he said.

In January of 2014, the family purchased an eight-acre farm near Rocky Comfort and planted its roots.

"It's a nice, quiet community with lots of friends," Borntreger said.

Joe and their sons work year-round overseeing plants from the time they go underground until they're full-grown. Fresh produce is then hauled a few hundred yards away, where it's placed in the stand and is available for immediate purchase.

In the first weeks of May, strawberries ripen and signal the beginning of spring harvest. The farm yields between 1,000 and 1,200 quarts of strawberries per season, depending on weather and recent rainfall.

Then, one after another, a variety of seasonal fruit and vegetable crops stock the Rocky Acres produce stand.

By the Fourth of July, fresh sweet corn is available.

Blackberries, tomatoes, green beans, peas, potatoes, zucchini, onions and cucumbers are available as soon as the season allows.

Pure honey from Borntreger's Bros. Apiaries is also for sale. Borntreger's son-in-law, David, is a beekeeper with multiple hives in the vicinity that provide fresh, unrefined honey.

Borntreger strives to grow wholesome crops with as little human intervention as possible.

"We spread fertilizer, but other than that, it's all-natural with no chemicals involved," he said.

The rest he leaves to God.

Rocky Acres Produce is located at 518 College Street in Rocky Comfort. The produce stand is open from sunrise to sunset, Monday through Saturday, beginning in May.

On the weekends, Mary and their daughters prepare a selection of homemade baked goods to sell, including bread, sweet bread, pies and cookies.

"The hottest item is the fried pies, made with fresh apples, cherries or blackberries," Borntreger said.

He encouraged those interested in produce or baked goods to call ahead to place custom baked orders or to learn what fresh new produce is available. Borntreger can be contacted via phone at 417-652-3319.

Community on 04/12/2018

Print Headline: Rocky Acres Produce To Open In May

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