ROAD TRIPPIN' Mount Pleasant: East Grove Farms
Monday, January 18, 2016 —
MOUNT PLEASANT, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - He grabs the wheel on the side of the old tractor, cranks it once, then harder a second time and suddenly it sounds like every kernel of corn in a jiffy pop pan exploding at once. Over the roar Kurt Garretson yells "It's a 1936 John Deere" Most people keep them in a museum, but we use ours every day ! Its just another reminder to Kurt that hes taking a journey through history every time he rolls past the huge stone posts at the front gate of East Grove Farms, a short drive from Mount Pleasant. This is Iowa's oldest continuously settled farm, dating back to his great, great, great grandfather in 1837. Just the chance to marvel at the restored farmhouse would be worth the stop, but Kurt is putting a new twist on his rich family history. In a wagon behind the old John Deere he enjoys taking visitors out to the back forty to mine for purple gold. In neat rows, bushes thick with pea-sized buds of flavor are ready to blossom in a bottle. Its 15 acres of berries that will be picked and crushed and aged into a nectar of the gods better known as Elderberry Wine. They are the key ingredient for a dry red reserve and a combination of meads, a mix of native Iowa fruits and fermented honey, all made right here! Its a combination field trip, relaxing time at the wine tasting bar and tough choice of how many bottles to bring home.