You instantly know there’s something unique about Gumz Farms in Endeavor, Wis. The first clue is the soil. It’s dark—nearly black—and has the soft consistency of peat moss. Many of the acres brothers Richard and Roderick farm feature “muck” soil, which is high in organic matter and perfect for onion, potato, carrot and mint production.
“Our soil is like a floating bog,” Richard says.
For this reason, the brothers and their team use intensive production management practices. Their hard work pays off. In addition to corn and soybeans, they raise a plethora of high-value specialty crops: peppermint, spearmint and carrots, and they produce, pack and ship onions and red potatoes.
Carrots are sold to processors who slice and dice them, while the onions and potatoes are packed for retail and sold on the fresh market under the Gumz Farms brand or other labels.
“This year the onions have suffered some early wet periods, they look better currently,” Richard says. “The per-acre yields will reflect some of the damage done earlier.”
Potato harvest will start in about four weeks and will last into October.
Mint harvest started this week. Unfortunately, the crop is below average this year and is suffering from some diseases. The peppermint and spearmint crops leave the farm in the form of oil and is used for flavoring for chewing gum Wrigley or toothpaste with Colgate.
Gumz Farms was a finalist for the 2017 Top Producer of the Year awards. Read more about this innovative operation.
The Top Producer of the Year Award identifies and honors agricultural producers from whom our readers can learn business concepts, ranging from value-added ventures to succession plans to overcoming adversity. If these characteristics can be used to describe you, then you should apply to be the 2019 Top Producer of the Year.