Rainbow Farms is a family owned and operated farm. It is a first generation farm. Larry Klco and his wife, Tina purchased it in 1983. Their four children have grown up helping with all the work and fun of owning a farm.
Because of their commitment to the farm and the environment, Larry and Tina sought to preserve the farm forever. In 2005, their farm became the first farm in the history of Lake County to be preserved as a permanent farm under Farmland Preservation.
When the farm was started in 1983, Larry worked an off-farm job along with the farm work. When you are the first generation this is usually necessary until you build up your farm to be able to pay for its overhead costs. All of his family worked alongside him with a common goal between them. Pick your own strawberries were the first crop. Cantaloupes, watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, broccoli, cauliflower and pumpkins were also grown. The only farm market was Willoughby Outdoor Farm Market for many years. Produce was also sold wholesale.
Additional crops were added as the farm grew. Black and red raspberries for pick your own were next, followed by blackberries. As demand grew for fresh produce, more outdoor farmer’s markets were opened and Rainbow Farms joined several. Presently they sell at Eleven outdoor farmer’s markets per week. The pick your own trade is still a big part of Rainbow Farms. Their pick your own crops include: strawberries, currants, elderberries, tomatoes, peppers and thornless blackberries. More pick your own crops have been planted but are not ready for picking yet, including blueberries.
Rainbow Farms now grows over 40 different fruits and vegetables for sale. Within that are over 150 different varieties. Larry now works the farm full-time. He is assisted by his wife (and grown children
as they are available). Also several part-time workers help with all the many jobs. Teens are employed to pick berries in the summer and help with sales at the many farm markets where produce is sold.
For the last several years they have sold their produce in a small open- air mobile farmer's market. In 2010 their new indoor farmers market will be opening. This fullfills a long term goal to keep their produce fresher and preserve the high vitamin and mineral content of the fruits and vegetables, not to mention the great flavor.
Larry and Tina’s goal is to always provide the highest
quality and best tasting, fresh, locally grown produce to their customers. They enjoy getting to know their customers and answering any questions they have about fruits and vegetables, recipes, and the health benefits of eating fresh. They believe in the
motto “Farmers are instruments of good health”.