Type: Farm

Produces: Aronia Berries

Location: Keota, IA

Miles from Coop: 36

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Farmer Levi Lyle believes taking care of one's own health is the first step in caring for the soil.

That's why LIFE (Levi's Indigenous Fruit Enterprise) began over a decade ago. When looking for crops to diversify their family farm, Levi wanted to grow fruits known for their healthful qualities. 

“I wanted to promote something that is native to the Midwest.”

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Tart and juicy, aronia berries look similar to blueberries, but with three times the antioxidants and a much more astringent flavor.

Aronia berries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit tested by the USDA. 

“My kids eat them by the handfuls. They aren’t supersweet, but as a native and wild fruit, they have more nutrition.”

Levi's farm now boasts other native Iowa fruits like paw paws, sour cherries and honeyberries. 

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By diversifying with indigenous plants, the Lyles are able to lean into the seasonality of their crops and connect even more to nature. 

“Growing aronia berries has become a great analogy for how we can work sustainably with nature to grow food.”

Levi is a leader in conservation no-till farming practices and carbon sequestration. 


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