Mitchell couple grows new planting and garden business with unique soil products
“There are so many soils with different varieties of nutrients, and there are very few places in the area that carry the type of organic soils and fertilizers,” Jared Nespor said of his new business, Fruits of Freya.
Jared Nespor’s fascination with the soil industry has led him on a journey into opening a business he’s always dreamed of bringing to the Mitchell area.
As a longtime plant and garden enthusiast, the Mitchell native has been exploring various soils and gardening practices to grow healthier plants and produce. Now that he’s found an abundance of soil products, Nespor and his fiance, Melissa Schuppan, are sharing their soils and plant-growing knowledge with the Mitchell area out of their new business called Fruits of Freya.
“The soil industry is so vast, and I’m barely scratching the surface of it,” Nespor said. “There are so many soils with different varieties of nutrients, and there are very few places in the area that carry the type of organic soils and fertilizers.”
The Mitchell couple opened the business, located at 500 E. Ash Ave., in early August. Since then, they’ve seen steady growth.
While big box stores carry a variety of soil products, Nespor said they are limited on the supply of organic, nutrient-rich soils. With his connections among some of the soil industry leaders, Nespor saw an unique business opportunity to tap into.
“It’s the only place around that has this type of soil,” he said.
As Nespor put it, the nutrients are what makes soil stand above others. For example, FoxFarm Ocean Forest Soil is one of the organic soil products Nespor carries at Fruits of Freya, which contains fish emulsion, crab meal and earthworm castings that he says is “great” for growing houseplants.
With South Dakota becoming one of the recent states to legalize the medical cannabis industry, which allows the plant to be cultivated in accordance with state and local laws, some of the soil products Nespor carries can be used for growing cannabis plants.
While Nespor said the legalization of medical marijuana didn’t play a role in opening the soil and gardening business, he noted it opened another market for the budding entrepreneur to tap into.
Another unique soil product that Nespor discovered through countless hours of research is SoHum. Nespor said SoHum soil is looked at by many in the plant and gardening community as the “gold standard” of soil. The product has already attracted a growing number of customers from Sioux Falls.
“With SoHum, you don’t need fertilizer. You just plant whatever seeds you are growing and add water,” Nespor said. “You can pretty much grow anything with it. I’ve never seen any soil grow tomatoes like this soil.”
For soils that need fertilizer, Nespor has tested a handful of interesting products, such as Fish Sh!t, which is a soil conditioner that contains microorganisms. Nespor said the microorganisms from the tilapia feces help produce bacteria that fend off plant pests and parasites.
Although South Dakota winters stifle gardening and plant-growing, Nespor has found a product that can cultivate plants and produce like tomatoes during any season from the confines of one’s home. The Gorilla Grow Industries 5 by 5-foot tent is an innovative product that Nespor said allows growers to simulate the type of climate and humidity of certain plants and vegetables in a controlled indoor environment, including hydroponic systems.
“You can completely control the environment by putting a humidifier or a fan in it,” he said.
Melissa said the business’ name Fruits of Freya has caught the attention of customers, leaving some wondering whether they sell whole fruits. But that’s not the case. Freya is an ancient goddess in Norse mythology that originates from Scandinavia, and Melissa said Freya being the goddess of fertility led to the idea of naming the business Fruits of Freya since their products are intended to help customers cultivate plants and agriculture.
As the budding entrepreneurs grow their new local business, the couple hopes Fruits of Freya will spark more interest in all things plant-growing.
“The more people we can get into gardening and growing plants, the less people have to rely on buying vegetables and produce from grocery stores,” Melissa said.