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Their busy season is all year

By Staff | Sep 11, 2015

BLACKBERRIES are red in color before ripening.



WEST BEND – “I’m a short order cook,” said Ann Grimm. “I’m not really a recipe person.

“At 4 p.m. I get asked what’s for supper and I say,’I don’t know, but I’ll find something.'”

A listing of activities that take place on the farm where she and her husband, Jordan Grimm, live – the farm of his grandparents between Algona and West Bend in Kossuth County – will explain why meals are prepared and served with a minimum amount of time.

-Farm News photos by Clayton Rye WITH SEVEN sons, Ann Grimm’s jars of plum jelly take on a larger size.

First of all, Jordan and Ann Grimm are the parents of seven sons ranging in age from 4 to 20.

Ann Grimm is the second of eight children. Her parents are Dennis and Judy Fehr, of West Bend.

Jordan Grimm farms with his father raising corn and soybeans, while raising hogs for Christensen Farms.

For the past five years, the Grimm’s have contracted with McMurray Hatchery, of Webster City, to collect fertilized eggs from 26 breeds of the 14,000 chickens located on their farm.

They collect eggs twice a day for a total of 6,000 to 7,000 eggs a day.

Ann Grimm

Ann Grimm said the egg collecting is something for the boys to do.

A sign located on the blacktop west of the Grimm farm points to Green Gables Landscaping and another sign announces this is the location of Green Gables Landscaping.

Ann Grimm, who has a degree in landscape design form South Dakota State University, has operated Green Gables Landscaping for 21 years and is Ann of Green Gables.

Grimm is the management of Green Gables Landscaping doing design, sales, ordering, and organizing, while the rest of the family and hired help do the labor.

She also sells flowers retail from a greenhouse located on the Grimm farm.

As they say in those television commercials for some gadget they are hawking, “But wait, there’s more.”

At this time of year Jordan and Ann Grimm are picking blackberries from their 20-acre patch called Riverview Berry Farm, south of Algona.

They deliver to 16 grocery stores bounded by an area from Spirit Lake to Charles City to Webster City plus selling at the Clear Lake farmers market.

Ann Grimm spent time in Oregon as part of her college education where she was introduced to blackberries.

A corner of their field located on light ground that needed irrigation to produce a crop could not be reached by the center pivot irrigation system and the piece became the berry farm.

The blackberry part of the farm has the advantage of a having a season of five to six weeks late in the summer and then ending.

The Grimm’s planned in the beginning, four years ago, for the blackberries to be a commercial enterprise, but the Iowa winters hold back the crop size so plans were altered to selling the crop according to what was available each year.

When she finds spare time to relax, Ann Grimm enjoys kayaking the East Des Moines River south of Algona that runs through their property.

Another hobby of hers is woodworking and she has a portable sawmill she uses to cut boards.

“I like building things,” said Ann Grimm.

The rest of the family enjoys their snowmobiles while Ann Grimm enjoys her portable sawmill.

“This is my snowmobile,” she said.

Grandma’s rolls

5 pound frozen bread dough

1/2 stick of butter per pan

Brown sugar

Melted butter



Set frozen dough out six hours before you plan to finish. (Or use your own bread dough). Five loaves will make two-and-a- half pans of rolls.

Three hours before you plan to eat, melt half stick of butter in a 9-by-13-inch pan.

Sprinkle melted butter with brown sugar. Cut a loaf of dough into16 pieces.

Roll each piece like play dough into a small rope the thickness of a yellow marker.

Dip each rope of dough in melted butter, then roll in a cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place sugared pieces of dough into pan. Line them up two across and 16 down.

You will use two loaves of dough per pan.

Let raise until just doubled in size.

Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Beef roast meal

Beef roast meal

10 am. Put a frozen beef roast into a roaster pan. Sprinkle with other seasoned salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

11 am Turn oven down to 250 degrees.

1 pm Add carrots.

2 pm Add potatoes cut into wedges. Turn down to 200 degrees

6 pm Supper is ready.

Or this can be done without the vegetables.

Meat will fall apart.


8 cups sliced apples

4 tablespoons flour

1 cup sugar

5 tablespoons lemon or pineapple juice.

Mix together.

This can be put into a bag and frozen for pies in the winter, or put into casserole dish and bake for hot apples over ice cream, or put into pie shell and top with the following:

Topping for two pies:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 cup flour

Cut butter into flour and sugar with a pastry blender until butter is in small pieces.

Top each pie with half of the this mixture.

Bake pie at 350 degrees for one hour or more.

Berry crisp

6 cups berries

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine and put into a 9-by-13-inch pan.


1 1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 cup oatmeal

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2/3 cup butter.

Mix first four ingredients, then cut in butter with pastry blender.

Put on top of berries. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

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