A family affair: Addy’s Acres is a labor of love for Hennepin family

HENNEPIN — When Brian and Janee Leatherman were given the opportunity to utilize a small plot of land owned by family, they researched various food crops, eventually deciding on something they both loved, garlic.

The Leathermans both have full-time jobs in addition to farming corn and soybeans, but decided to throw their efforts into a small garlic farm when a family member offered them use of a two-acre parcel.

“We decided on the name Addy’s Acres after our daughter and have plans to add different organic products in the future,” Janee said.

In the fall of 2020 the Leathermans planted .6 of an acre and currently have five varieties to offer. Though they are not organic certified, they practice organic growing methods and hope to become certified in the years to come.

“This is our first year and we planted five hardneck varieties, Chesnok Red, Persian Star, Georgian Fire, Tamarack and Great Northern White,” Janee said. “We planted that space with 200 pounds. Of those 200 pounds, there were about 18,000 cloves that were all planted by hand.

“We have family members who volunteer. My cousin, Michelle Bouxsein, is helping with all of the technology that goes along with this adventure.

“In July, we harvested 1,200 pounds by hand. I believe this is an average crop size and being our first year, we are ecstatic.

“We also are planning on adding two additional varieties for next year’s harvest,” she said.

In our area, you want to plant hardneck varieties 4-6 weeks before the ground freezes in October, then harvest in July.

Addy’s Acres sells at farmer’s markets in La Salle on Tuesday, Spring Valley on Wednesday and Princeton on Saturday. They also have a website https://www.addysacres.com/.