A picking adventure

Eldon strawberry patch opens in Eldon

Joyce L Miller
Vogel’s Berry Farm opens Saturday. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Farming always has its challenges and growing strawberries is no different. Just ask Bill Vogel who is busy tending his small strawberry farm as he gets ready to open the gates to his patch just north of Eldon.

Every season for the last 10 years or so, Vogel has been sharing his 1/3 acre strawberry patch at his u-pick-em farm off  Highway 87. For many in the area, the opening of the strawberry patch is a highly-anticipated event that calls for a trip or two to wander thru the patch, picking the plump ripe strawberries that have been carefully tended for months.

The sign that sits just off the road, is a landmark of sorts for locals anticipating the opening and the chance to get locally-sourced strawberries.

Opening day for the farm is June 12. Vogel will be opening on Saturday, June 12. He suggests those wanting to come pick, call or text beforehand to make sure he is open. Since he is a small operation, he only accepts cash or check.

Vogel runs the farm himself so pickers will be able to get expert advice from him when they arrive on site.

Strawberry fields.

Strawberries are running $4 a pound this year. Pickers can wander through the patch and pick the ones they think look best, he said. He provides containers for pickers to use.

Even small operations like Vogel’s have faced the challenges all farmers do. From pests to bad weather. It’s hard work and strawberries take time, patience and a willingness to put in long hours. But, it’s all worth it when the gates open and people come in from all over the area to enjoy a picking adventure.

Vogel got his start in the strawberry business after learning about strawberry farming from a friend of his in Kansas City who was doing it. When he moved to Miller County, Vogel decided it was time to give it a try.

Now, every season, he said he looks forward to seeing the regulars that always show up and families who bring the kids along.

His best advice is to come early in the season. It doesn’t take long for the strawberry patch to get picked over. If you miss strawberry picking, don’t worry, blackberries are bursting and will be ready on Vogel’s farm in the next couple of weeks.   

Strawberries are 4/pound but you get the fun of picking them.

Where to go:

Vogel’s Berry Farm

261 MO-87 Eldon (2 miles north of Eldon, watch for signs)

816-682-1302 call before coming to the patch

Cash or check only