Collinsville, Illinois, and the surrounding area, is part of what is known as the American Bottom lands, a Mississippi River basin adjacent to St. Louis, Mo. carved out of the glaciers from the ice age, the soil is so rich in potash, a chemical nutrient on which horseradish thrives.
Approximately 85% of the world's supply of horseradish is produced in this fertile setting. Cold winters provide the required root dormancy. The long summers yield excellent growing conditions for the root to grow.
German immigrants to the area began growing horseradish in the late 1800's and passed their growing method from generation to generation. The Keller farm in Collinsville, Illinois, has been a horseradish working farm for 100 years, and is still in the same family, like many other farms in the area. We also have J. R. Kelley, one of the processors in this area. The plant is not bothered by pests that ravage other crops. It's a labor-intensive crop that must be planted by hand. This is, perhaps, the reason that this area grows so much of the world's supply on so few acres.
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