Kiski Township couple invites everyone to share fruits of their labor | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Kiski Township couple invites everyone to share fruits of their labor

Mary Ann Thomas
1394576_web1_VND-BerryFarm4-071119
Martin and Lori Krezolek moved from Pittsburgh to Kiski Township in 2010 and started a berry farm with many different varieties. Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
1394576_web1_VND-BerryFarm2-071119
With 12 varieties to choose from, the berry picking season was in full bloom at Martin and Lori Krezolek’s berry farm on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
1394576_web1_VND-BerryFarm3-071119
A sign directs customers to various berry patches on the 20-acre Krezolek farm in Kiski Township on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
1394576_web1_VND-BerryFarm1-071119
Customers pick blueberries on the 20-acre Krezolek farm in Kiski Township on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
1394576_web1_VND-BerryFarm5-071119
Martin and Lori Krezolek of Kiski Township own a berry farm along Old State Road with a wide variety of blueberries and raspberries. Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review

The biggest, juiciest red raspberry of the season can barely contain itself, ripened to perfection but still hanging on the cane at a small farm along Kiski Township’s Old State Road.

The perfection is by design as Martin Krezolek, 42, researched and planted what he believes are the best kinds for his private collection of 12 varieties of blueberries. There are about 2,700 bushes and six red raspberry varieties growing from about 20,000 canes.

This berry farm is off the grid, at least at the moment. It has no name, no website and no set prices, which likely will not change. Just an understated, hand-painted sign that says “berries” visible from Old State Road.

Beyond that, it’s everything a you-pick-it berry farm should be: Neat rows of berries propped up by fresh-cut wood trellises, laid out on neatly cut grass that a child could romp around in bare feet if so desired. It’s so friendly, it’s wheelchair accessible — not a common attribute of berry farms.

The coiffed blanket of grass doesn’t come naturally. Krezolek spends two days mowing and trimming every 10 days “to keep it immaculate,” he said.

When visiting, it’s soon apparent that the farm is not just about fruit. It’s an example of manicured rural beauty with its gently sloping hills awash in short grass strung with perfectly spaced rows of berries and flanked by a cadre of birds singing and, no doubt, feasting.

“I believe in order,” Krezolek said, surveying his property, which is perfectly laid out with berry fields, a pool, jungle gym, large shade tree and a renovated, freshly painted blue-and-green house — all neat as can be.

The farm serves as an example of “God’s wonder,” Krezolek said, who describes his Christian family of six as driven by faith.

‘We’re selling an experience’

His wife, Lori Krezolek, 40, puts it this way: “We’re not just selling berries. We’re selling an experience.”

They want to share the bounty and beauty of their berry farm — one of the few places in the region to welcome the public to pick berries. And like other new establishments that don’t have a set price, such as the Knead Community Café in New Kensington, patrons pay what they think the berries are worth or what they can afford.

“There is no price; you pick as much as you like and pay as much as you like,” Krezolek said.

The farm was designed around the Krezoleks and their children, who moved from Pittsburgh, opting to leave city life for the country just outside of Apollo in Kiski Township in 2010.

“As a father, I wanted to find a way to provide a clear sense of direction and values for our children in our new home,” he said.

Krezolek, a contractor by trade, gutted and rehabbed the farm house while his family worked to clear the acreage.

Why berries?

“Berries are children-friendly,” he said. “They will keep their interest and keep them involved.”

When they aren’t preoccupied with berries, there are blueberry, blackberry and raspberry plants for sale.

The farm is open Monday through Saturday, dawn through dusk. To reach the owners, write to them via email [email protected].

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.