SAPULPA, Okla. (KFOR) — It’s not a race.

Oklahoma blackberries, including the thornless varieties, ripen and sweeten on their own time, and at their own pace.

A few phone calls brought us to the Meadow Farm near Sapulpa where the Asher family planted these rows in 2013 in an overgrown hay field where they were already growing naturally.

“These have a green cap behind them,” says Norman Asher pointing to some of the green ones not ready to pick.

As far as we could tell they were the first to arrive, the first U-pick operation to open to early morning berry lovers.

“We have 28 rows,” Norman continues.

This plant is so successful, so pervasive, no one really knows where Rubus Fructicosus originated.

Blackberries grow in full sunlight or partial shade, in well-drained soil.

In some places, the vines take over if someone doesn’t cut them back.

Over history, this fruit has been used to treat fevers, boils, sore throats, ulcers, and even venomous bites.

“I knew they would grow here,” says Asher. “The conditions were good.”

Norman points to a big berry still unpicked.

“This one is going to be pretty good. It just has to fill out.”

The Ashers insist the best berries are the darkest, with brown around the base.

They pull away easily and can grow as big as the end of your thumb.

“If you pick them right they’re very sweet,” he says.

‘The black honey of summer’ is how one writer described them.

‘Purple as tulips in May’

Writer Dorothy Dunnet once said, “I would give you my soul in a blackberry pie and a knife to cut it with.”

We’re just happy that on these hot June days Oklahoma blackberries can take mere hours to fully ripen, and still be ready to pick past the 4th of July.

You can learn more about Meadow Blackberry farms on their Facebook page.

Other U-pick blackberry operations closer to the OKC Metro include

Agape House Berry Farm

N40 Berries

Red Bird Farm

Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union