Oregon Fruit: Berry Farm & Cannery Tour
Have you tasted a berry grown from the soils of Oregon? Chances are you have — about 60 percent of blueberries and blackberries (and marionberries if you’re lucky!) come from Oregon farms. With our Northwest climate of cloudiness punctuated by bright bursts of heat, conditions are perfect for the ripest and juiciest of berries. Join farmer Phil and I as we tour a few farms and visit with a local cannery, Oregon Fruit. See more photos below:
Phil instructed me in “milking” the blueberry bush, which means cupping both hands around a bushel and gingerly scraping the blueberries into a bucket or basket. It was a lovely feeling where I could really celebrate the vibrance of the Oregon soil and perfect weather for berry-growing, not to mention eat my weight in delicious fruit!
Every blueberry acre requires a different amount of water and care each year and season, depending on the weather. All of the plants however, thrive in a slightly acidic soil and sawdust cover, which helps to retain nutrients and acts as a mulch. Throughout the berry farms, I saw sawdust hills large and small, being readied to cover the crops. Never before have I been so appreciative of all the work it takes to harvest berries and eat them fresh or the process of canning them for winter time. I’m grateful for the Salem-area farmers and the bounty they produce for all of us.
Have you visited a berry farm? A fruit cannery? What was it like for you?
• Visit Oregon Fruit: Oregon Fruit