A gritourism is defined as any activity on a farm or ranch that invites the public to visit. Activities can be recreational, or for entertainment or educational purposes. Examples include farm museums, petting zoos, riding stables and ranch-stay experiences. Oklahoma has a variety of agritourism opportunities all year-round.
Oklahoma Heritage Farm and Market
This farm is located in Ramona, midway between Tulsa and Bartlesville. Margaret Snow and her husband, Mike, farm on 40 acres.
“We grow produce that is in season,” says Snow. “And we pick and sell that day.”
The farm, open year-round, will soon be selling blueberry, strawberry and blackberry plants. During the summer, many vegetables are available, including seven varieties of tomatoes.
“Those are our best sellers,” says Snow.
Their country store has local honey, salad dressing, jams and handcrafted home items – as well as bakery items created by Snow herself, who harvests her own wheat. During the winter, customers can snag items including eggs and cheese.
The farm’s annual fall festival offers a lot – including a pumpkin patch and an outdoor maze. Edible options consist of food trucks and the farm’s concession stand. The festival started seven years ago with about 7,000 people; last year, the event saw an average of 18,000.
Snow, author of the book Rooted in the Heartland, loves the direction her life took.
“I grew up on this farm,” she says. “I love to dig in the dirt. We live a self-sustaining lifestyle.”
Snow enjoys watching kids explore the farm just as her dad – a well-respected dairy farmer – did.
Call 918-371-7887 or visit okheritagefarm.com to learn more.
Thunderbird Berry Farm
Located in Broken Arrow, this farm is known for its blueberries. Jack Schlekeway, often called Farmer Jack, has been working at his uncle’s homestead for 40 years.
Blueberries have varieties during each season – early, mid and late. Schlekeway favors the early-season variety which yields good, sweet harvests.
“We have 15 acres of blueberries,” Schlekeway says. “We have 20 to 30 varieties.”
Their new variety, pink lemonade, is a sweet blueberry in the late season. Customers are already requesting it. Blueberry picking begins June 1, depending upon the weather.
“We supply buckets,” Schlekeway says. “You pick the berries.”
The price is four dollars per pound. Other items available include honey and veggies like squash and asparagus.
At the farm, Friday night picnics are popular. Guests can enjoy food trucks or can bring their own eats. There are picnic tables, and play equipment is available for the kids.
Schlekeway’s uncle Don started the original farm in the 1950s. Don, who is 94 years old, is still involved.
“Almost everyone who works here is related,” Schlekeway says.
Call 918-398-3317 or visit thunderbirdberry.com to learn more.