Monday, July 23, 2018

Fruits of Benton County

It's the time of year for enjoying local raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, whether you buy them at a farmers market or pick them yourself. Benton County residents have been picking berries at home or at U-pick businesses for years.

As commercial wheat production moved to eastern Oregon in the late 1800s and early 1900s, local farmers began diversifying, raising a wide variety of crops., as celebrated in displays at the state fair and the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915.
Visitors to the latter were offered samples of some of these products, including loganberry juice and prunes, “fresh and stewed.” The Groves family had one of the several Italian prune plum orchards in Benton County.
By 1920, Benton County famers were producing 261,768 quarts of small fruits (berries) in addition to 164,000 bushels of orchard fruits, primarily apples and prune plums.

To process some of these crops, the Corvallis Canning Company was incorporated in 1908 and subsequently opened a plant near First and Van Buren Streets in Corvallis.   
The Brownsville Canning Company also processed fruits and vegetables at its plant on Ninth Street in Corvallis, including some berries as in this 1920 photograph.

By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon

No comments:

Post a Comment