Stilwell U-Pick is open to the public as of Spring 2017!
When we moved to Stilwell in 2009, we always thought it was odd that there was no “pick your own” opportunity in the “Strawberry Capital.” Sure, there’s the annual Strawberry Fesitval, as well as roadside sellers at the “Y,” but how could it be that you had no place to take your family to pick berries?
To make matters worse, we then discovered that – of all things – the Oklahoma State fruit is none other than the STRAWBERRY!
As a toddler, my mom would nestle me down in matted row berry patches in Virginia Beach, VA and I’d sit & eat while she filled her buckets. If Virginia Beach, known for far more than u-pick berry patches, offers locals the freshest berries nature can produce… surely Stilwell should have a place for people to enjoy the best fresh-from-the-field berries available ANYWHERE.
So, in Summer 2015 we began a journey of farm visits, self-imposed apprenticeships, conference attendance, and all around immersion in the world of horticulture.
A year later, after 3 backhoes & a bulldozer went to work clearing a previously-timbered pine forest, we now have over 10,800 linear feet of raised-bed, sub-surface drip-irrigated plasticulture with nearly 17,000 strawberry plants!
40 rows of double-column, now-dormant plants currently occupy 1.35 acres of J5 Farm (situated in the Piney community).
Now that there’s a strawberry patch open to the public, and J5 Farm has become Adair County’s first (and only) Ag Tourism destination, we realize our work is not over.
U-pick strawberries, it turns out, was merely the most pressing matter that needed to be addressed. But we’re looking to the future and have plans to make Stilwell U-Pick even better year over year.
Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to stay in touch – as we have many exciting things in store!