The Pryor Times

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June 19, 2014

Outback Farms; making summer sweeter

PRYOR, OK — A family-owned farm between Pryor and Adair is making super fruits, super fun.

“It's an experience,” said owner Mike Auxier. “People can come out, pick berries and have a picnic at the farm.”

Unlike other pick-your-own farms, Auxier said Outback not only allows but encourages kids to come along and see the farm.

“We love kids, we'll push wheelchairs around, we accommodate groups and we're available by appointment. We really try to go the extra mile,” said Auxier.

From the second a visitor sets foot on the farm, he’s family.

Auxier says the farm is open from 7 a.m until 7 p.m., seven days a week. Buckets, bags and baskets are provided. Between the summer sun and the sweetness of fresh-picked berries, Auxier and his family say it’s an outing to add to the summer to-do list.

“We take people out in the field and give them a lesson in blueberries and show them how the pickin' is done,” said Auxier.

The farm has been open since 2009, so it has a combination of beginner pickers and old pros.

“Many people have never picked a blueberry, so it's interesting to watch them pick their first one and watch their eyes light up when they taste one,” said Auxier. “Fresh blueberries taste so much better than store-bought. Even people that say they don't like blueberries, try them here and love them.”

There's more than just blueberries to love, though.

Outback also has blackberries and raspberries.

As if that wasn't enough Auxier's family sells raw honey, blueberry soap, jams and jellies, asparagus, okra, tomatoes other vegetables and dried gourds. The Auxier family also sells blueberry barbecue sauce and blueberry syrup.

Blueberry season has about four more weeks remaining, so fruit fanatics have plenty of time to stock up.

“Fresh blueberries stay good in the refrigerator a couple of weeks and freeze beautifully. Supermarket berries typically last less than a week in the refrigerator, so families end up throwing a lot of produce away,” said Auxier, explaining that locally grown produce has the advantage of not being trucked thousands of miles before being battered onto store shelves.

As if the wholesome and delicious, family fun weren’t enough to entice new pickers, the health benefits are.

“Blueberries are high in anti-oxidants, lower cholesterol, may prevent urinary tract infections, may improve memory, coordination and balance, improve eyesight and offer an assist in anti-aging,” said Auxier. “Blueberries are considered a top 10 powerhouse food. And calorie for calorie, berries are among the most nutritional foods on the planet when it comes to fiber and antioxidants.”

Chock full of vitamin C, potassium and fiber, the health benefits are endless.

Whether eating them out-of-hand or combining mixing in fruit salad, Auxier says you can't go wrong.

While Auxier and his family encourage families to visit and show the kids where their food comes from, he understand some folks just don't have time to go the pick-your-own route. Outback also has pre-picked berries on site.

Outback offers blueberry plants for sale year round. Each year the farm takes orders for fall planting. Fall also brings pumpkins to Outback.

The farm is located at 4163 E. 470 Road in Pryor, but Auxier says to just follow the signs.

The family can be reached at 918-519-2148 or 918-519-9235. More information, including blueberry jam and syrup recipes, can be found at www.outbackfarm.org

 

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