Our History

Larson's Family Farm was formerly known as Larson's Berry Farm. The farm business continues to be owned and operated by us, Steve and Rhonda Larson. From 1977 until 1995, we grew pick-your-own strawberries and for many years pick-your-own raspberries. While we have shifted our crop focus to new farm projects, we enjoyed the challenges and successes that accompanied raising the berry crops and thank the customers who patronized us during our first two decades of operation. Our family has farmed in northern Illinois for more than a century.


In 1857, Steve's great-great-grandfather Elias Espe, together with his brother Peter, emigrated to the United States from Norway. They worked as hired hands in nearby Lee County until they joined the California Gold Rush. Elias and Peter each mined $6,000 in gold and returned to Lee County in order to buy farmland. One of Elias' daughters, Anna, married Simon Larson, who was a member of a local farm family. They farmed, and with the money they made feeding cattle during the second world war, Simon was able to purchase more farmland in DeKalb and Ogle counties. His youngest son Virgil and wife Marvel continued the family tradition of farming until Virgil's death in 1976. Virgil bought our present farm in 1968. Our family has farmed throughout its history and plan to do so in the future.

Customers picking strawberries

Riding on the berry wagon

Stephanie and Vicky Larson, young foragers