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  • Madison Thaden

Getting to Know Kyle Haroldson of Haroldson Farms

Stroll through the Brookings Farmers Market on a sunny Saturday morning and you’re likely to spot Kyle Haroldson behind a bountiful stand overflowing with lush greens, plump tomatoes, carrots, onions, and other seasonal organic produce.



As owner and operator of Haroldson Farms, he has become a dedicated fixture at the market over the years, proudly selling vegetables harvested from his certified organic farm located outside of Bruce, South Dakota.


Haroldson’s winding path to organic farming is an interesting one. After graduating from South Dakota State University with a business economics degree, he lived and worked in exciting destinations such as California, Hawaii, and Brazil over the course of nine years while employed in international business. During his time abroad, he joined forces with his brother, who worked in organic produce distribution.


When Haroldson returned to South Dakota, he dreamed of putting down roots and starting his own organic farm. In 2016, he began the process of turning his family’s land into a certified farm for organic produce. Now in his eighth year, he has continued to perfect his crop planning and has built up a loyal customer base for Haroldson Farms’ organic vegetables.

 

Becoming a certified organic farmer takes immense dedication year-round, not just during the busy spring and summer growing season. For Haroldson, the process starts as early as January when he begins poring over seed catalogs, plotting crop rotations, and planning the coming year’s planting schedules. Once the last frost passes, nearly nonstop work gets underway as he transplants seedlings, weeds pathways and tends to all aspects of natural vegetable cultivation. 


When asked about his growing season, Haroldson emphasized the impact of good weather: “It all depends on when it freezes. If I can get things to grow through the end of October, it’s a good season.”


After the final fall harvest, there’s still no rest – greenhouses must be cleaned, equipment maintained and supplies secured. Through the exhausting highs and lows of each year, Haroldson remains deeply committed to growing produce in harmony with nature while avoiding all synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. His dedication bears fruit with every bountiful crop harvested for appreciative patrons across the community.


In the future, Haroldson says he hopes to continue expanding the reach of his organic crops. He currently grows several varieties of each vegetable on his farm acres and experiments with new varieties every year.“We grow probably 50 different varieties of vegetables and multiple colors of each variety,” he says.


Additionally, he recently launched partnerships with several local schools, notably Huron School District, to provide Haroldson Farms produce for their lunch programs. He works closely with cafeteria staff to determine which vegetables would be feasible to incorporate into student meals. This partnership marks an exciting milestone for his farm.


If you are unable to make it to the farmer’s market, you can still enjoy Haroldson Farms’ organic produce through its online store and subscription box services. Haroldson launched an e-commerce website where customers can order vegetables for home delivery. He hand-selects the week’s freshest crops to include in the seasonal Community Supported Agriculture boxes, which are available for weekly or biweekly delivery. You can learn more at haroldsonfarms.com.


Be sure to stop by Haroldson’s stand not only to gather the freshest organic produce but also to hear firsthand about his passion for sustainable agriculture. The farmers market actually lets him rest a bit during the busy season. “It’s kind of a break from the physical labor… The farmers market atmosphere is great, too,” he says. 


Wherever you find Haroldson’s produce, you can feel good knowing he has grown and delivered each vegetable in a way that protects the environment, from first sprout to final bite. 




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