Berry Picking at Persimmon Hill Farms
Posted on April 2nd, 2011
Shortly after moving to Branson in 1987 just before the big “boom,” I began crossing trails with Martha Bohner, a delightful lady who was managing editor of the Branson Daily News. One day she explained that she and her husband, Earnie, were developing a “pick your own” berry operation on their small farm southwest of Branson to attract tourists coming into Ozark Mountain Country. They already had two acres of blueberries but planned to someday add fields of blackberries, raspberries and gooseberries. The news soon came that Martha had resigned from her newspaper job to dedicate her energies to the berry farm.
Those early and continuing efforts by the Bohners have resulted in Persimmon Hill Farm, now a thriving berry, fruit and mushroom farm near Lampe that has become a highly popular destination point for Branson vacationers and local residents. Visitors to the Bohner farm can pick their own organically grown berries and also enjoy hot muffins, cobblers and other tasty treats from the gift center. It’s comfortable picking too. To the delight of berry pickers, the blueberries grow in clusters on 7-ft tall plants, and the blackberry plants stand in neat rows with berries exposed.
Jim and Linda Adams, Indian Point residents, head to Persimmon Hill Farm when it’s blueberry time. “We love those tasty berries,” explains Jim, “and we always look forward to our Persimmon Hill journeys. The fields are well kept and the berries are in rows and easy to reach. There’s also a tree-shaded picnic area where you can relax with coffee and cold drinks or have a snack from the gift shop. We especially like the huge Thunder Muffins they make from their commercial kitchen.”
The Bohners have taken their “berry patch” dream much farther than originally planned. After winning first place with their Blueberry Barbecue Sauce at the American Royal International Barbecue Contest in Kansas City in 1994, a Blackberry Glaze for grilling and other sauces with additional awards soon followed. Adding log-grown shitake mushrooms initiated a gourmet product line, and a new Cream of Shitake Mushroom Soup will be introduced this year. There’s a wide offering of jams, muffins, sauces, mushroom products, fruit spreads, butters, syrups and specialty foods. More than 30 gourmet food products and gift items including a Persimmon HillFarm cookbook are shipped to customers from around the world. The Bohners also host a music-supported Blueberry Festival each year in June that raises money for a local charity.
To reach Persimmon Hill Farm, take Missouri 86 south and west of Branson and Kimberling City as if going to Dogwood Canyon, turn north onto Trace Hollow Road (Lake Road 86-63). Follow signs to the farm. During June and July, the farm is open daily from 7 A.M.-7 P.M., noon to 7 P.M. on Sundays. August, 7 A.M.-5 P.M. Monday-Saturday; September, 8 A.M.-5 P.M. Monday-Saturday; October, 8 A.M.-5 P.M. Monday-Friday. The blueberry season arrives in June, with the blackberry season running from late June to mid-July. Buckets and bags are provided.
For more information, call 417/779-5443 or email@example.com
By Dave Rawson, DiscoverBranson.com Writer