Buffalo Ridge Orchard

Growing Quality Local Produce Responsibly

Who is BRO


Photo taken by Jessica Rilling

Buffalo Ridge Orchard (BRO) was started with the planting of its first apple tree in 2003.  This planting began the transition of a traditional 80-acre agricultural farm to one that supplies healthy local produce.  It is BRO’s goal to supply vegetables, apples, and pears to the community in the most sustainable way possible.  The orchard has expanded from 800 to over 3,000 trees.  BRO has over 50 different types of new and classic apple varieties.  In 2011 we installed our first moveable hoop house which allows us to grow greens and root vegetables in the winter and get an early start on tomatoes and extend the season for other vegetable crops.

Vernon and Mary Zahradnik, the founders and continued visionaries for BRO, graciously invited their daughter and son-in-law, Emma and Marcus Johnson, to join in their venture in Central City, Iowa.  Marcus and Emma Johnson spent seven years in Philadelphia working in the field of landscape architecture.  This work gave them lots of opportunities to see how to build, grow, and create.  It was in Philly that they were able to see the importance of healthy local food in the success of a community.  Spring 2012 the Johnson’s sold their row house in Philly and headed west to eastern Iowa where a row house is called a town house and the land rolls gently with fields of corn, beans, pastures, and suburban development.  This blog is a record of their transition from city to farm and the continued transition of the farm to orchard.

13 comments on “Who is BRO

  1. Andrea Short
    June 1, 2016

    When does your spring/summer 2016 CSA pick up begin?

  2. Amber
    October 6, 2014

    when will u be at new bo again and do u accept wic farmers market checks?

    • buffaloridgeorchard
      October 6, 2014

      We are at NewBo every Saturday from 8am to 1pm. Starting October 18th we will be at NewBo from 8am to 5pm. We accept WIC checks from May thru October. Let us know if there is a specific variety that you would like and we will be sure to bring them to market.

  3. Kalli
    September 10, 2014

    Can customers come to the orchard? Pick their own apples? Or is it primarily farmer’s market sales?

    • buffaloridgeorchard
      September 10, 2014

      We pick all our own apples, and don’t have a farmstand on our farm yet, so we just sell everything at farmers markets and to a few wholesale customers. We’ll be at the Cedar Rapids Downtown, Dubuque, Iowa City, Marion Uptown, and NewBo Markets through October and we’d love to see you there. Thanks for your interest in our apples!

  4. Andy
    July 24, 2014

    I’m a Philly guy too! Nice to see you in Iowa. We’re thinking about joining your fall CSA.

    • buffaloridgeorchard
      July 24, 2014

      Always glad to hear about Philadelphia ties, & thanks for your interest in our fall CSA. Our apples are really sizing up now out in the orchard. Many of them are already starting to show their brilliant colors as well. We’re excited for apple season!

  5. Denise Krejci
    November 4, 2013

    I had my first taste of your apples several weeks ago. I bought them to use in my juicer, but decided they were too delicious to only drink!
    I am a devoted customer now from NEW BO.

    • buffaloridgeorchard
      November 5, 2013

      We are so glad that you have been enjoying our apples! We are excited to be at NewBo City Market with apples and other produce through the Winter.

  6. Glenn
    February 12, 2013

    How exciting. Will you be exporting to Costa Mesa(AKA twin sisters house) to be sold at the OC fairgrounds, farmer’s market at SOCO and the farmers market in corona del mar?

  7. Scott Boeckelmann
    December 29, 2012

    Did you sell the bread pudding at the market? If so how can I get more?

    • buffaloridgeorchard
      January 11, 2013

      BRO (Buffalo Ridge Orchard) is an small farm in Central City Iowa that provides local produce, including apples and vegetables, to nearby farmer’s markets and restaurants. We do not sell bread pudding at our market. Thanks for your interest.

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