There’s nothing quite like locally-grown, fresh produce. And when you’ve got a hankering for it, look no further than Uncle Jesse’s Produce.
Uncle Jesse’s Produce is based near Lidgerwood and is owned by Jesse Frolek. Frolek grows a variety of fresh produce from radishes to lettuce to carrots and more. In fact, he grows over 40 different types of produce.
Frolek travels across the southeast region of the state setting up stands and selling produce.
Frolek, a farmer, began Uncle Jesse’s Produce business in 2015, and since, then it’s continued to grow year after year.
“It started out as a hobby and it just kept getting bigger and crazier, and I just decided to turn it into a business. It made sense,” Frolek said. “The farmer and the plant science enthusiast in me saw the option to make some more money when the commodity prices were so low.”
He saw the opportunity to make a little extra income and pursue one of his favorite hobbies. His love of plant science and gardening began well before he first got the idea to start his produce.
“I think it’s kind of magical, you put a seed in the ground and you get a plant. You watch it develop and produce a vegetable or a fruit. Coming from a farm background that’s our lifestyle. That’s pretty much all I knew growing up as a kid really. Growing up, other kids were playing in the sandbox with their Tonka Trucks. I was farming around the outside of it putting in navy beans and millet,” Frolek said.
Frolek is a part of Community Supported Agriculture. At the start of the summer solstice, for 15 weeks, clients are delivered 10-12 pounds of fresh produce, by mid-season they receive around 20 pounds of produce, Frolek said.
Right now Uncle Jesse’s Produce serves between 50-60 clients with this service. He delivers anywhere within the area between Hankinson, Oakes, Lisbon, Kindred and Fargo.
Frolek also supplies a number of restaurants in the southeast region including BernBaum’s, The Toasted Frog, Mezzaluna and more.
“Each town has one eatery that supports me fairly well. Fargo has — I’m going to say — at least 15 downtown Fargo (restaurants) that support me at some point in the year fairly well,” he said.
Frolek also offers tours of his garden, which he’s constantly upgrading and expanding. Right now, he’s working on a hydroponic greenhouse that uses air from the ground as a cooling and heating source.
In the past, 4-H members, the Woman’s Club and Dakota Estates have all toured his garden.
In August, Uncle Jesse’s Produce hosts an in-house market where customers can pick vegetables from the garden.
Last year alone Uncle Jesse’s traveled to 25 different communities. To find where Uncle Jesse’s Produce stand will be next you can visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/unclejesseproduce. Their Facebook page is also the best place to make a purchase or schedule a delivery if you can’t make a purchase in person.