Inspired by my friend Angela, I set up some summer tours for kiddos. And our first tour was a big success. While other families were turned away because of the rain, we got VIP treatment and were lucky enough to have Stuart Olson of Olson Farms show us the lay of the land and familiarize us with his farm.We first set out to pick up some produce in the stand (before we got too muddy from picking). They had fresh berries by the flat and pint, plants, onions, oats and local honey. Then we headed out for a tour and to pick some fruit.
Stuart Olson showed us his berry bushes, impressively tall for having been planted only a year ago. The kids enjoyed finding fat, juicy berries to add to the basket that Mr. Olson gave them as well as running through the berry rows. The highlight of the tour for me was to speak with Stuart Olson. I learned this humble and kind owner wanted to follow in his dad footsteps as a farmer since he was a child. It was such a pleasure to hear him talk about his family’s history and hear the pride in his voice when he spoke about the diverse crops he has nurtured. His passion for his work was immediately apparent and I was impressed how knowledgeable and friendly he was. He invited our gregarious group of high energy kiddos to another tour later in the season…this time all about bugs. Now how cool is that?
Stuart Olson also told us the secret of his business….diversification. While his dad mostly concentrated on cherries and peaches, he has expanded his crops to include raspberries, boysenberries, kotataberries, blueberries, holly, and flowering branches (whew!). Unlike farmers who specialize in only one crop, Olson Farms stays busy most of the year harvesting, maintaining and selling goods locally but also providing bouquets to the Northeast.
It was a delightful day. We got rained on, muddy shoes and fabulously fat berries. And best of all, we were able to meet with Stuart and see the power of his vision unifying the land and his family while staying connected to the community. Indeed, he is living the dream!
Want to visit Olson Farms?
6925 Joseph St. SE Salem OR. 97301
(503) 362 – 5942