If you’re like me and wondered, what the heck is a buckle? Here’s a little tid bit of information: “A buckle is a cake that gets its name from the fact that there is so much fruit that a cake might seem to “buckle” under the weight of it all. You can make a buckle with almost any kind of fruit, but the cake base is particularly good for soaking up the juices from the fruit.” A good friend of mine makes this AMAZING cranberry buckle for his wife’s birthday every year. It is seriously amazing. So I decided to try my hand at my own buckle using blackberries! Lucky for me, I found a blackberry grower from Oregon, KV Farms Inc. grows berries such as blackberries, boysenberries, and blueberries! Yum!
BLACKBERRIES: Ken of KV FARMS INC.
When did you start farming? What brought you into farming?
1988, Limited opportunities elsewhere, grew up farming.
What chores did you have growing up on the farm?
Changing irrigation, hoeing weeds, almost all hand labor (Parent’s farm consisted largely of fruit and vegetable crops).
Are there any differences between your farm now and your farm when you were a kid?
There certainly is. Almost everything now is mechanical.
Who farms with you and what are their roles?
My son, Jesse, works on the farm with me. He works as a foreman on various jobs, and assists with the many tasks on the farm.
What has been the hardest part of farming for you?
All of the bookwork, regulations and laws that affect how we farm and the practices used to farm.
What has been the most satisfying part of farming for you?
Watching the crops mature and harvest has been the most satisfying. And seeing success from that, when it happens.
What crops (or animals) do you grow and why?
Mostly berries (blackberries, boysenberries, and blueberries) a little grain and seed crops. Why: couldn’t be successful raising vegetables like we used to. The same goes for wheat and clover (red clover, crimson clover both for seed, to be used as cover crop), no money in it, so we had to switch to berries to be profitable.
What do you think was the most useful advance in farming such as machinery, genetics, chemicals, etc?
In the berry industry, certainly mechanical harvest of them. Also, the development of new varieties (genetics/breeding, creating hybrids) have certainly helped, especially in blueberries and blackberries, to get quality fruit at a higher production. The higher quality provides a better price for the crop.
What is your favorite thing to do with a food crop you grow?
My favorite is pie! Blackberry pie is a very good pie, in my opinion.
What is one message you’d like to get across to the general public about what you do?
Many are missing out on some very good blackberries. The Northwest Blackberry industry is a very small industry (around 45 million pounds total production, compared to over 800 million pounds production in the Blueberry market). Many consumers are missing out on a lot of wonderful blackberry products because of this. Unfortunately, with such a small market you don’t see the bigger corporations showing interest in it. Bigger corporations don’t make products out of blackberries because there isn’t enough available for their size of market. For example, Burger King won’t make a blackberry item available on their menu because there currently is not enough production to meet their needs. To encourage more production, consumers should request more blackberry products (and purchase more) so that the market grows; ask for Northwest Blackberries to at least give them a try and hopefully enjoy them!
What advice would you give to anyone interested in getting into farming?
Have a very good banker and tons of money. It takes more than just passion to make it; you’ve got to have lots of money and resources. It’s a pretty tough business to get into, definitely in Oregon.
You can find more from KV Farms Inc by giving them a LIKE on Facebook!
This buckle was super easy to whip up. I loved it because it isn’t super sweet and lets the slight tartness of the berries shine. I think it would be delicious with any sort of berry fruit or even peaches! I served mine with a vanilla sauce or it would be delicious with ice cream.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar + 1/4 cup
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3-4 cups blackberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter in a microwave safe dish.
- In a medium bowl, mix together 1/4 cup sugar with the berries. Set aside.
- Mix together 1 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk and melted butter until just incorporated.
- Prepare a pie or square baking dish with butter. Pour the batter into the buttered dish. Sprinkle the berries and juices over the top of the batter.
- Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar and place in oven for about 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown over the top.