Sunday, August 7, 2011

Berry Picking: Smith Berry Barn (Hillsboro, OR)

Over the weekend, I went berry picking. This was my first time at Smith Berry Barn. It's not far from my house. They have a good selection of berries, a small store, some animals and best of all, they make fresh berry shakes! I was after blackberries to make jam. They have several varieties of blackberries but the Marionberries were plentiful and tasty.
The Marionberry is a medium to large blackberry. These berries were developed here in Oregon at Oregon State University (go Beavs!!). They are named after the county (Marion County) in which most of the testing was conducted. Marionberries are a hybrid cross between two previous Oregon hybrid berries, the smaller but sweet Chehalem and the larger and highly productive Ollalie. About 90% of the world's Marionberries come from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
A word of warning, Marionberries are prickly suckers. There seems to be thorns on the leaves, stems and every part of the plant except the fruit. Okay, I maybe exaggerating just a little but ouch! Despite bearing battle wounds, I managed to pick a little over 6.3 pounds of Marionberries. They were $1.75 per pound. I'm not a big fan of the seeds so once the 6.3 pounds of berries were de-seeded, I ended up with 9 cups of Marionberry puree.

Be sure to see my post on the yummy (and believe me it was yummy) Marionberry Jam I canned.

Smith Berry Barn
24500 SW Scholls Ferry Road
Hillsboro, OR
ph: (503) 628-2172