We provide high-quality organic products
As farm growers in Iowa centered on nutrition and sustainability, you’ll find our new and growing line of products are also centered there. That means in our Tonics, Cook Kits, and Jam, you’ll find sustainably grown and sourced elderberries (some of which are grown right here on our Iowa farm) as the first ingredient. This also means that we intentionally and carefully source our other ingredients to ensure other growers are taking care too.
Our honey is from Iowa’s hardworking bees and their keepers, our neighbors just to the South. Local honey and local elderberries—never a better collaboration.
Our organic herbs—rose hips, ginger root, ceylon cinnamon, and cloves—are always organic and selected from high-quality, transparent, sustainable sources.
And we think this makes for the tastiest, most healthful elderberry goods from sea to shining sea.
West Branch’s story begins in 2015 somewhere around Orange City, Iowa, which is quintessential small-town Iowa… quiet, friendly, family-filled. Not far from the Minnesota and South Dakota borders, Northwest Iowa is renowned for its fertile topsoil, the “black gold of Iowa,” the creme de la creme of dirt.
Kevin, Mark, and Verlyn joined in a vision for a 16-acre piece of land, nestled in Northwest Iowa’s infamous row crop farming landscape. This piece of land could be something different. It could be home to the healthful elderberry… a crop native to Iowa, but nearly nonexistent today.
So in January of 2015, it was settled and 36,000 elderberry cuttings were purchased from an elderberry orchard in Missouri. These cuttings, planted first in the greenhouse were transplanted to that infamous black gold 2 months later. With 16 acres planted in Orange City, another 8 acres were planted in neighboring Sioux Center, Iowa. With careful planning and irrigation development, West Branch Elderberries was anticipating its first elderberry harvest.
And in 2016 our first harvest knocked us off our feet. We weren’t anticipating so many berries. We scrambled to find community members, family members, anyone near to help us harvest. It was clear to us, seeing all those friends and family walking the rows, that this was a unique way to bring together and foster our community. Often families and church groups join for harvest to connect and earn revenue for projects.
After that first harvest, it was clear to us that we needed to find a way to automate the processing piece of harvest. So in their genius, Verlyn and Mark converted a blueberry processing line for elderberry processing.