Cabin Creek Berries
After spending five years in the small country of Haiti doing mission work, our family moved to Big Cabin, Oklahoma. With a dream of raising cattle and berries, and teaching our children good work ethics, we bought eighty acres of untilled land on the county line in the Summer of 2009. In the fall, we put one small foot forward to fulfilling our ambitions by tearing up six acres of grass with an ancient WD Allis Chalmers and a three-point plow. How satisfying it was to see the rich, dark dirt in furrows! Land preparation was not just that simple, but through the fall of 2009 and early spring of 2010, we worked those six acres into the dirt we wanted. Early April 2010 found us laying thirty-five long rows of fabric down for beds. Shortly after, we planted 4,000 blackberry bushes, 1,400 raspberry canes, and close to 500 blueberry bushes. What joy! We had a very small raspberry crop that fall, but the real fruit of our labors had to be waited for.
Cherry Street Farmer’s Market in Tulsa was begging for our product, so that was our natural choice. (We have been a member of that association since 2009, even before we planted our berries!) Our customer base has steadily been growing, as well as our farm. We have added to our blueberry patch twice, and the bushes are doing well. Due to an aerial herbicide disaster, we had to replant seven rows of raspberries in the spring of 2014. We only replanted our two favorite varieties (Heritage and Nova) and used the other seven rows for our highest-demand fruit: blackberries.
Although we very much love our present operation, and we value our customer base in Tulsa, we want to share the goodness of our land with people more in our locality. At this point, we are offering the U-pick option on our blackberries.
We also have people hired to pick for those that do not want the experience of picking, or do not have the time to pick the fresh berries. We take our picking operation seriously! To ensure the best quality, we train our pickers (and ourselves, of course!) to pick only the ripe berries. Just because they are black does not mean they are ripe! Unlike other fruit, blackberries do not get sweeter as they soften. If they are picked ‘green’ (read ‘tart’), they will be tart until they rot. Because blackberries ripen in heat, but heat is not good for them after they are picked, the berries are promptly put into an ice chest where they start cooling. They are then transferred to refrigerators, where they are further cooled to a good keeping temperature. Our berries are touched once—they go from the vine, into the vented container they are sold in. This minimal handling and prompt cooling gives them a shelf life of at least six days. (I have kept mine in the refrigerator for over two weeks, just to see how long they really would last.) Once you taste these top of the line berries, you will likely join the hundreds of Cherry Street customers who exclaim: “these are the best berries I have ever tasted!” Come find out—samples are free! :)
We use the same practices for our blueberries and raspberries. Because our supply has not yet met the demand of our Cherry Street venue, we are not offering U-pick on these products. However, we will have some available and for sale at the farm.
If you are concerned about our farming practices, we can assure you that we ‘responsibly raise’ our fruit. We are not organic, nor do we plan to be. The immigration of the Spotted-wing Drisophila from China several years ago has caused some stress, but we are working through it. We have planted honeysuckle and trumpet vines to encourage hummingbirds, which are a predator of the fruit fly. Our knock-out roses, a beautiful addition to the appearance of the already pretty patch, were also planted for pest-related reasons. We try to get the best-tasting and most nutritional berry to you, always with your health in mind.