Chester River Aronia, LLC was founded in 2011 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore when five siblings and their families bought and planted 370 aronia seedlings from a grower in Wisconsin.
We were looking for a project we could work on as a group, to lock in the future of the farm we all grew up on – and aronia seemed a perfect fit!
Was it? We don’t know yet, but our first summer we invoiced a berry buyer for $900 for our first 200 pounds of picked and frozen berries. Wow! Not huge, but it was a start.
And our timing was good. The University of Maryland is pushing aronia in the
mid-Atlantic region and is working to create a market for it. Anti-oxidants are hot. And it was a UM researcher who found us the $900 buyer.
The following year we had a bumper crop of over 1,000 pounds of berries and yield has multiplied each successive year.
The family dwindled and some families lost interest so Roy and Molly Mears, one of the five original family members, took over the operation. In the summer of 2019 we picked 2000 pounds of beautiful aronia berries. We now have plenty of frozen berries available for purchase. In 2020, we picked only about half the berries due to lack of a market during the Corona virus pandemic.
In 2021, we pruned the bushes, but still had a great crop of berries. 2022 was very productive and 2023 looks like it will be a bumper crop.
If you’re interested in buying berries, ours are organically grown and very, very clean.
Give us a call at 410-778-2255, or email us at email@example.com.
During the late spring through early fall, you can find us on Saturday mornings at the Chestertown Farmer's Market near fountain park in Chestertown.
Here are a few interesting things our customers have told us:
"After using your jam every morning, my fibromyalgia hurts less" Dottie L.
"My husband's Korean doctor told us to find some organic aronia berries for his ulcerative colitis. After 2 months of eating the berries every day, there is no sign of the condition." Jody V.
"We use aronia berries every day as part of the Budwig diet my husband follows to keep his cancer at bay" Ruthann S.
In regards to the freeze-dried aronia, we have had people say it makes them feel more energetic, some thought they lost some weight and 2 people who did not know each other said it cleared decades old acne! Definitely a powerful berry.