Forbidden Fruits Farm & Vineyard Caddo County, Oklahoma
Our first farm tour in Oklahoma is so close to us, we could take an afternoon and bike there. Just a mile South of Cyril sits a new and quickly establishing farm, orchard, ranch, and vineyard. Alexis Kaiser married into the Kaiser family and moved to Cyril in 2011. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she is a native Illinoisan like me! The Kaiser family, originally from Russia, has been farming in Oklahoma since 1894. They know a thing or two about the land here. Tim and Alexis Kaiser together have 6 children who are learning to farm on their beautiful 80 acres. They are located on a raised hilly area with a view that looks down to the creek, just like ours.
We were barked into the driveway by 2 little farm-guard Dachshunds. Alexis came out and we introduced ourselves and learned quickly that she had an energetic personality and made a great tour-guide. She showed us around the property to their awesome chicken tractor and beautiful mostly-Auricana flock. The roosters were gorgeous! Their chickens are about 90% pasture fed, which keeps the grasshoppers at bay around the house. She said the hoppers are a problem out by the orchard, where the chickens don’t roam. They have plans to expand the flock and build and use more chicken tractors.
The Kaisers are raising grass-fed, non-GMO beef cattle with no antibiotics or hormones on shaded pasture, which they are planning on transitioning to rotational grazing. Currently, they sell the beef through the Oklahoma Food Coop. They also sell vegetables at the Lawton Farmer’s Market, when the season allows a surplus. We talked quite a bit about agri-tourism and how both our families desire our farms to be places that welcome guests and are open to teaching people of all ages about sustainable food production. In the future, Forbidden Fruits Farm would like to have a retail farm store at the end of their road and a building, probably a monolithic dome structure, that would be an event center for the winery. I think the view, the hosts, and the wine would be 3 excellent reasons for people to visit Forbidden Fruits Farm and Vineyard.
She didn’t let us leave without sharing some heirloom variety seeds from her vegetable garden. I believe that this is the start of great farmer-friend relations here in Southwest Oklahoma. I can envision her farm and ours being on a wine-trail, farm-tour that would be a great boost to the local economy, as well as a community building activity for anyone who eats food.