July is national blueberry month, but for local blueberry farmer David Patterson, July is the end of the season.
Blueberries need full sun and acidic, sandy soil to grow in Oklahoma, which is why they did so well on a few otherwise sparse acres about a half-mile east of Claremore Lake, when another member of the Patterson clan owned it in the 1980s.
When Patterson and his wife inherited the property, he spoke to many people who fondly remembered summer jobs, getting paid by the pound to pick blueberries from sunrise until the heat exhaustion kicked in.
So in 2012, the Pattersons opened Canyon Berry Farms with 3,000 blueberry bushes and a handful of local kids eager to make a little extra pocket change.
Canyon Berry Farms opens to the public each June, when the berries first begin to ripen. Anyone is welcome to come pick their own and pay by the pound.
And weekday mornings the farm is full of teenagers and young adults picking berries to be sold at the Quick-n-Easy at the corner of Sioux and Blue Starr Drive.
The problem is that the blueberry season is only six or seven weeks long, meaning most of the berries are either picked, fallen or carried off by birds by mid July.
But Canyon Berry Farms is open for picking until July 20, so don’t miss your chance.