A different kind of farmer: grape farming - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A different kind of farmer: grape farming


DECORAH (KWWL)-- Iowa's land isn't only being used for growing corn and soybeans, but local growers are trying their hand at grapes.

According to the Iowa wine and beer board, there are about 72 wineries and vineyards in Iowa.

One vineyard in Decorah hopes they can bring a taste of California to Iowa.

Brian Nordschow and his family spend a lot of their time in their back yard, but this back yard isn't like any other back yard.

"I think its kind of cool to go to school and say well what do you do at your house? I say well I own a vineyard. People ask what a vineyard is and some people don't even know what it is so its really cool to explain it and tell them," said Makenzie Nordschow, daughter of vineyard owner.

Makenzie was about eleven years old when her dad wanted to start a vineyard.

"I was just looking for something that could be profitable to do. People told me I would have the best tan of my life and I would get in shape and they were right," said Brian Nordschow.

The Nordschows have nearly 1,400 grape plants.  That's about three acres.

They started out growing white wine grapes and soon added table grapes.

"I realized that more and more people especially in this area would like to know where there food comes from so I thought maybe I can make table grapes grow out here," said Nordschow.

This family spends hundreds of hours cutting the grapes off the vine.

They are then cleaned and hand delivered to different schools and grocery stores in the area.

Iowa weather obviously isn't as good as California weather in growing grapes, but Nordschow says ideal Iowa weather would be 75 to 80 degrees and rain once a week.

Typical harvest for the table grapes is around August while wine grapes are in late September.



Online Reporter: Nikki Newbrough

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