2015 Pick-Your-Own Farms Guide
Photo courtesy of Oklahoma Agritourism
Research has shown that kids who are introduced to fruits and vegetables at an early age are more likely to eat them as an adult—reducing their risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other medical conditions. Agriculture-based activities, such as “u-pick-em” farms, can help make fruits and vegetables more exciting. It’s then easy to continue the learning in the kitchen.
“Picking food for themselves helps kids better understand where their food comes from,” explains Amanda Horn, Registered Dietitian and Family and Consumer Sciences Educator for the OSU Extension Service in Oklahoma County. “The kids can actually tour the farms and often they get to see the different stages of planting and harvesting the produce. This is an educational experience that many kids don’t get at school.”
And picking their own produce can have a beneficial effect on picky eaters as well. “If the kid can see where and how the food is produced they are more willing to taste it,” Horn continues. “Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures they are getting the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow. Plus, seasonal produce is more flavorful and contains more nutrients than processed foods.”
Since many children haven’t seen or been on an operational farm, an agricultural-based outing allows them to experience a fun and active way to discover new food—and have fun at the same time.
Owasso Tree and Berry Farm
Looking for a great place to pick your own blueberries and blackberries in Green Country? Head to Owasso Tree and Berry Farm. Opened by Bill and Paula Jacobs in 1981, the farm expanded into blackberries 20 years ago and blueberries two years ago. Each year the farm opens for families to come and pick their own berries, usually around the first of June (though it will be a little later this year due to our unseasonably cold spring).
Arrive at the farm with yourself and your wallet—containers and packaging are provided. Blackberry picking is made easy by the rotating trellis system used at the farm. The portable trellises are a way for the farmers to move the plants to protect them from harsh cold or sun, which makes for better berries. This also causes the berries to grow on one side of the plant, making picking faster and easier. A plus for families with young children are the thornless variety to protect from unnecessary boo-boos.
Owasso Tree and Berry Farm is open for picking on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00am–noon and Saturdays from 7:00am–4:00pm. If planning to arrive later in the day, it’s advised that you call ahead to ensure the type of berries you’d like to pick are available, as berries are picked all day.
The farm also sells pre-picked berries (for a slightly higher cost) and locally-produced honey. Visit their website to join the email list and receive updates on the growing season, or to learn about plant sales if you are interested in growing your own.
Once you arrive in Tulsa via I-44 (Turner Turnpike), the Owasso Tree and Berry Farm is just a quick drive north on Highway 169 to the 106th St North exit. Take a left at the stop sign, then a right on North 129th E Ave, and the farm will be on your right.
Other Favorite Pick Your Own Produce & Berry Farms:
5521 N Douglas Blvd, Arcadia. Open year-round Tuesday though Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 3:30 to 6 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 405-823-2430
700 Beaty, Pocola. Open year-round with you-pick berries throughout the late spring and summer. 918-626-4053
33423 Pleasant Valley Road, Poteau. Open late May through the summer. 918-658-9139
13841 N 364 Rd, Holdenville. Open June through September. 405-941-4142, 405-941-3929
13310 Adams Rd, Mounds. Opens late May through the summer. 918-344-4582
Sorghum Mill Christmas Tree & Blackberry Farm
7121 Midwest Ln, Edmond. Open early June to mid-July. 405-340-5488
20126 S. Dickerson Dr, Claremore. Open late spring and early summer. 918-344-9191.
Buffalo Creek Berry Farm
9211 Sloan Rd, Mustang. Open late spring and summer from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
17881 SE 110th Rd, Red Oak. Open June to mid-July. 918-448-8387
19400 NE 63rd St, Harrah. Open June through August. 405-454-6618
Jennifer Geary is a homeschooling mom from Broken Arrow, formerly of OKC, who loves to have adventures with her family.