CALHOUN, LA (KTVE/KARD) — With Mother’s Day getting closer, you may be looking to treat that special woman in your life with a sweet gift or maybe even a special experience. In this week’s Destination Louisiane, we take you to a farm in Calhoun, LA where they are celebrating the spring season with a “U-pick” strawberry field.
“Let’s try and keep these berries at about 95 percent red so that we will have some sweet berries for the customers,” said William Cook, part owner of Indian Village Harvest Farm.
Indian Village Harvest Farm is bringing a whole new meaning to the saying “Farm to table.” They’re inviting the public to come be a part of the harvesting experience for the current strawberry season.
“I say it all the time, everyone wants to be a farmer without having to farm. You have that opportunity to do that here,” said Cook.
The farm has “U-pick” days, where you, the consumer, get the unique chance to pick and choose your own strawberries from the field. Eight years ago, the farm only had 2,000 strawberry plants but, this year the field is bigger than ever.
“So this year we are at 25,000 strawberry plants. That is more than we have ever grown. We’ve got one variety that has 12,000 plants, it is a very high producer. Then we have 13,000 other plants that we are experimenting with for the future,” said Cook.
“Fun at the farm” doesn’t stop there. One of the farm’s owners, Willian Cook, has found a way to cultivate agritainment, also known as farm based entertainment that’s perfect for the whole family. You can expect to find a petting zoo, a playground, an educational hayride, home-made strawberry ice cream, and a variety of fruit jams.
“We love seeing all the smiling faces and the crying kids when they have to go home. It just warms our hearts,” said Cook.
While picking your own strawberries at Indian Village Harvest Farm is a lot of fun, It also provides a day of learning for kids and even adults. Some may even say it’s school outside the classroom.
“We teach the kids how to plant seeds and tell them about germination, photosynthesis, and stuff that has kind of been forgotten about. A lot of parents come back a year later and talk about how they had to go back and build a garden for their kids, because we taught them a little about farming,” said Cook.
Picking strawberries can be fruitful, but knowing and understanding where your food comes from is something that is highlighted at the farm. For example, did you know that the strawberry comes from flowers that each strawberry plant produces?
“Agriculture is a really big deal anywhere in the world. It’s extremely important that we continue to do this, Just on the aspect that we grow food here, we won’t survive without food,” said Cook.
If you can’t make a trip to North Louisiana this month, no worries, Indian Village Harvest Farm caters to all seasons of the year. In the summer, you can find freshly grown peaches and a “U-pick” vegetable garden.
“Also about that time, we get into our vegetable season with corn, peas, okra, all kind of beans, and peepers. Anything you see at the supermarket we are usually growing them here,” said Cook.
In the fall, pumpkin season takes over with a huge pumpkin patch, daily hayrides, and a fall flavored ice cream. In the winter, they hope to have a Christmas Tree farm in the near future.
The strawberry “U-pick” days at Indian Village Harvest Farm will be on Wednesday’s and Saturdays from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Sundays 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.