May 23, 2015: The fresh strawberry harvest has started! This first week of picking will be sporadic. Fresh Klicker Strawberries™ that are harvested will be delivered to our local retail outlet, the Klicker Antique & Fruit Store in Walla Walla. Please check Retail Outlets for contact information.
Fresh Klicker Strawberries™ generally are ready around June 1st and continue until the middle to late July. The majority of our strawberry acreage is located on our ranch property sitting at an elevation of 1000 feet. Other fields are located at increasing elevations in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, culminating with a field located on top of Klicker Mountain at 3800 feet. Not only do the different elevations spread the season out, it also spreads the risk. If one field gets damaged from frost or hail, another one may be spared.
The Klicker Family has been raising strawberries in the Walla Walla Valley since 1918. It began when brothers Del and Jake Klicker picked too many garden strawberries at their mother's Klicker Springs Hotel located in the Blue Mountains. Needing to dispose of the extras (a strawberry pie does not need 10 flats of strawberries!), the industrious brothers hitched their wagon to their horses and traveled 15 miles to town and immediately sold the strawberry flats for a premium price. They found out they could make more money selling their mom's garden strawberries than the family could earn housing hotel guests.
What began as a garden patch of strawberries grew into a full-time business that over the years has been blessed to have employed several generations of local youth.
Today, we (Kirk and Nancy) are the fourth generation of Klickers to raise June bearing strawberries and still employ primarily youth to harvest the crop. It is a joy for us to have the opportunity to give young people the chance to work and grow as individuals. We currently have 35 acres of strawberries and employ approximately 200 workers, from ages 12 and up. Our field bosses and supervisors are all high school age and older who have earned their positions of leadership by working hard as pickers, displaying exemplary leadership skills, and earning the respect of their peers.