Buckets of Berries

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Categories: Recreation/Leisure

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 Do you dream of making your own strawberry jam with berries you picked yourself? This April, pack up the family and head to Huldy’s Farm, a family-owned and operated berry farm in Inola, about 30 minutes east of Tulsa.
“We are on a peaceful patch of land easily accessible from Highway 412,” said Owner Gwen Johnson. “If the Good Lord permits, strawberries may be ready starting in mid-April with the warmer weather we’ve been having. We’re scheduled to be at the Tulsa Farmers’ Market on Cherry Street at 15th and Peoria, Saturdays starting April 7. We’re also adding a new booth location in Tulsa on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in the Country Club Plaza parking lot at 51st and Harvard. The farm will open for the season on April 10.”

This year, Gwen says the farm has 24,000 strawberry plants, which equals out to a little more than an acre and a half of plants. Each strawberry plant produces about a pound of berries. A new piece of equipment this year is the Picking Assistant, which will help Gwen’s employees pick even more strawberries to take to the Tulsa markets. Customers can see it in action on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The farm is prepared to accommodate visitors, with tables and chairs located near the picking area, folding seats available for a $1 rental fee to use while picking, free bottled water, and portable toilets. Huldy’s welcomes birthday parties and family reunions, and customers are always welcome to bring their own picnic lunches and snacks.
After picking, strawberries and blackberries are gently transferred from the picking buckets to cardboard flats, so patrons arrive home with berries intact. Blueberries are sturdier, so they are packaged in food-safe plastic bags when picked by customers and packaged into plastic pint containers when the staff picks them.
Gwen’s daughter, Erin, named the farm. Her grandparents had owned a 1955 Chevy Truck named Huldy – a nickname for a woman prophetess briefly mentioned in the Bible named Huldah who was strong in her faith in God. In March 2010, with the help of Erin, friends, neighbors, and Gwen’s Sunday School Class, the first patch of blueberries were planted. In the following years, Gwen and her crew added strawberries and blackberries to the farm.
During April and May, the farm is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. During June and July, the farm is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. However, if you want to make an after-hours appointment, Tuesday through Saturday, Gwen can schedule an appointment for you. Please note that hours can change due to inclement weather and availability of ripe berries, so call or check Huldy’s Farm Facebook page to confirm hours for the day you plan to pick.
Strawberries are available for picking starting mid-April; the blueberries should be ready by late May, and the blackberries should be ready by mid-June.

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