In 2006, at what is now Chautauqua Hills Farm (pronounced shuh-TAW-kwuh or chuh-TAW-kwuh) in Chautauqua County, Kansas, the farm was purchased and work began on developing the land.
The farm founders commented, “we discovered some interesting and unique characteristics about the climate, water, soil structure and interestingly, an over-abundance of native pollinators (native bees, bumblebees, carpenter bees, etc…), which led us to explore what could be grown here – with a couple of caveats – the food had to be enjoyable, and really healthy!”
In 2009, Chautauqua Hills Farm planted the first blueberry bushes and continued refining the conditions in which the plants grow and produce.
2010 marked the first year the berries were available to the public.
Early in 2013, the Kansas Rural Center featured Chautauqua Hills Farm as the
“Quality Foods Farm Brand.”
In 2014, the farm changed hands to the Chadick family, who still lovingly tend the plants and continue growing delicious berries today. As Dave Chadick noted, “We immediately fell in love with this property, but as we learned how it had been maintained in such a natural state, and the true uniqueness of the soil and plants, we knew we’d found our new home.
“Both our grown sons are biology majors and were intrigued by the science involved in raising blueberries in the sustainable, naturally organic way that had been done for the previous six years. Raising blueberries is not easy, but relying on the original founders’ experiences, we have been able to continue on with the great start to sustainably-raised berries, using no traditional herbicides or pesticides, and we’ve all had the satisfaction of putting our hard work towards something that we’ll own and enjoy for years to come.
“We will continue to run this operation as a family-owned business. Learning how to nurture, cultivate, weed, and sustain the berries, and then watching as they were harvested by some really fun and interesting customers, really put the icing on the cake.”
Now serving over 1000 customers each season, the farm continues to be recognized for its signature “Nickel-Size Blueberries” and natural growing methods.
The Chadicks enjoy making many new “Berry Good Friends” each season and creating smiles when their customers taste their berries! Come see them!
There is Increasing Interest in Local, Sustainable Food Production and Small Scale Farming
With an eye to the future and a desire to develop a detailed, comprehensive understanding of the requirements underlying the complete system of successful and sustainable small to medium scale food production and marketing on a local and regional level, what began as a hobby is now a regionally known farm utilizing innovative technology and web services to better serve our nearly 1000 customers each season. Known for its signature “Nickel Size Blueberries”, Chautauqua Hills Farm was featured as the “Quality Foods Farm Brand” in Kansas in 2013 by the Kansas Rural Center.
How We Grow
What we eat really does affect our health. There are many methods for growing and producing food. We believe consumers in growing numbers will continue seeking healthier food grown in a sustainable manner.
At Chautauqua Hills Farm we’ve chosen to grow the food we produce using sustainable and organic products and methods. We believe this offers us the widest assortment of choices toward the goal of producing the very best food we possibly can. We’ve also made the commitment to leave the biodiversity intact at our farm as much as possible as we work to enhance our growing areas.
Our approach does not involve the use of conventional pesticides and focuses on constantly improving the soil biology, microbial activity, plant vigor and health. We believe the combination of healthy, alive soil and vigorous plants yields the best results.
In the beginning years, a great deal of resources was committed toward establishing our specialty crop growing operation and spent hundreds of hours researching, learning and visiting with various companies regarding their products and growing methods. Of course, every year is different and this requires us to maintain our commitment to learning what works best under certain conditions and keep abreast of the latest inputs, products and technological innovations to maintain our produce quality.
At Chautauqua Hills Farm we eat what we grow and we continually strive to produce the very best for our customers!