Nothing signifies the peak of summer like a luscious, ruby tomato and no one appreciates the fleeting nature of that fickle season like a Minnesotan. That was what drove Bushel Boy Farms founder Jay Johnson to find a way to grow tomatoes year round, even in the depths of this year’s polar vortex. There’s a place not far from where you’re shoveling out your driveway where happy bees are buzzing around a verdant room filled with ripening tomatoes grown until they are just right. They’re plucked, packed, and shipped from Owatonna to your grocery market shelf.
Greenhouses are filled with tomato vines that stretch across the room and are overseen by scouts. These folks scan the plants for any “bad” bugs—the ones that could harm our crop. If any are spotted, we skip the harmful pesticides. Instead, we then bring in the “good” bugs, who will help keep our tomatoes safe and thriving. We also have plenty of bees on the clock, pollinating the plants just as Mother Nature intended.
We’re providing good food for you, but we’re also conscious of being good neighbors and not just to our happy six-legged friends. At Bushel Boy, we also want to enrich the lives of those around us and help feed our neighbors who are in need of a little assistance. That’s why we send our not-quite-perfect tomatoes to Second Harvest Heartland in the Twin Cities and Channel One regional food bank in Rochester.
When you spot those little red beauties with the bright yellow sticker, we want you to know that Bushel Boy tomatoes aren’t just delicious. They’re good for you and our entire community—grown right in your backyard (in Owatonna).