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Union Creek Organic moves to new location

Union Creek Organic has moved to a new location, previously the home of the Wadena Furniture Gallery. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal1 / 3
Newly installed bagging machine. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal2 / 3
James Crook, General Manager of Union Creek Organic. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal3 / 3

Union Creek Organic has moved to its new location off Highway 10 West in Wadena. The move was prompted by a desire to better serve customers and to increase business visibility.

Formerly known as Buckwheat Growers, Union Creek Organic serves local farmers and gardeners wanting to take a healthier approach to food. The business has been operating for 21 years. The business sells organic and non-GMO feed, seed supplies, dog food, and variety of organic gardening tools.

"Health of the soil is what it boils down to," said James Crook, General Manager of Union Creek Organic. The success of farming and the overall health of people who eventually consume the crops depends on the quality of the soil according to Crook. It all starts with dirt, more specifically the nutrients and microorganisms in that dirt which eventually find their way into every biological facet of life. If the soil is properly maintained, crops can grow with ease.

Organic farming is essentially farming before chemicals. Good farming techniques, no chemicals, and good old-fashioned hard work make for the best crops, according to Crook. This sentiment is clearly the foundation of the small town feed store, so much so, that Crook plans on making education a major part of the store's operation. Soon he hopes to teach courses and seminars on the finer points of operating an organic farming operation, from how to raise chickens to basic farming techniques.

For many years the business operated out of a mill located by the railroad tracks in Wadena. The old mill is still an important part of Union Creek Organic. The plan is to process the grain at the old location and transport it to the new facility where it will be bagged.

While on a tour of his new facility, Crook excitedly showed off new equipment while explaining his future plans. The store is still somewhat under construction at this time but will soon be a bustling agriculture center with a focus on healthy living. In addition to showing off his future education room, Crook presented rows and rows of feed. The facility is quite large, the space is definitely needed to house so much product.

Along with the new location, a new delivery truck and bagging machine were also purchased. The bagging machine will help in the expedient sealing of products. The bags should be easier to open as well, something Crook claims has been bothersome for him and his customers.

"When people think about organic, they think about the hippy type, but most of us are regular folks," explained Crook. A grand opening is planned in spring 2019. The unique business can be found next to Merickel Lumber off of Hwy 10 west. Business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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