Monday, October 27, 2008

My Town Monday - Klickers Berry Farm (and more)


Though outsiders may associate Walla Walla with our world famous, Walla Walla Sweet Onions, those of us who live here, know there's another crop worthy of praise. Klicker strawberries are a late spring/early summer delicacy. No matter who you talk to, virtually everyone has a story about their first year picking strawberries at Klickers. It is a right of passage that hometown youth share and I am no exception. We were paid by the flat-I can't remember how much, but I'm sure it was a ridiculously small piece of change that felt like a million dollars to me. But as those 11 and 12-year olds get a few years older, they graduate to working on the line, or even to driving truck. Unfortunately, my strawberry picking days were cut short when it was discovered that I was severely allergic to the hay put on the ground around the plants. So without a career in berries, I had to pick a different one; a teacher. Ah well...

Let me click away at some Klicker history. The Klickers have been raising strawberries since 1918. It began when brothers Del and Jake Klicker picked too many strawberries at their mother's Klicker Springs Hotel. Needing to get rid of the extras, the brothers hitched their wagon to their horses and traveled 15 miles to downtown Walla Walla and immediately sold out. The industrious boys quickly learned that they could earn more money selling Mom's garden strawberries than the family could earn housing hotel guests and a business was born. Now, 90 years later, the farm includes such seasonal crops as pumpkins and Christmas trees, and inside a nearby building, you'll find an antique store. It is one of those home town places that the locals like to keep a secret. So if you visit Walla Walla, stop on by...but don't tell them I sent you.

It's not all about strawberries at Klickers. In the fall, children love to visit the farm to pick out pumpkins.



Wagons make transporting the pumpkins loads of fun (hahaha).

So many choices, so little time for this little guy.


6 comments:

Jenny Jill said...

How is the book coming? Mine is nearly done. I am so frantic!!!!

http://www.jilks.com/DyingWithDignity.html

Barrie said...

Interesting! And what good-looking pumpkins!

debra said...

And what a great looking pumpkin picker. I love it when farms are passed on through the generations.

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Hi Jenny Jill- Welcome! Well, the book about my dad and I is finished. I just really don't know where to send it now. It's a hard book to find a "fit" for.

Barrie- Yeah. The other cool thing is that when I was teaching, I had a small class of 8-10 special needs kids. Klickers always let us come and pick out a pumpkin EACH for free. What fun!

Debra- Yeah, that little guy was so cute. I'd thought I would write a story for a magazine about Klickers, but haven't yet. He's just a random child that happened to be there. I did ask his Grandma's permission before I started snapping...didn't want to look like I was creepy...sad but true.

Mary said...

I love local farms, their food and it was great to hear the history of Klickers.

Karen L. Alaniz said...

I have to agree Mary. There's nothing like local produce.