There is something for everyone at Becker Farms
Because they did not have any sons, the farm went to their daughter Joyce Becker Perry. Where her and her husband kept the farm going part-time by growing tart cherries.
Then, in 1979, their daughter Melinda Perry Vizcarra and her husband Oscar decided to return to the farm, growing it in to what it is today.
Melinda said she always enjoyed the farm when she was younger but didn’t think she would return. But after developing an interest in agriculture and after marrying Oscar in college, the two decided to return to the farm.
The couple knew that if they wanted to make a living on a small farm, they would have to sell things directly to the public. So they began with U-pick strawberries.
She said growing up, if her father lost his cherry crop, they lost everything. So they decided to grow a wide variety of fruits, including strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, plums and pumpkins. They also have 12 different kinds of apples.
Melinda said then people began asking for a place where they could get something to drink or eat, so on 1985, Melinda and Oscar took the farmhouse her grandparents lived in and created a market, where they sold ice cream, cold drinks and already picked produce. Soon after, they also started making homemade pies.
She said one year they decorated the farm with big bails of straw and they couldn’t keep children from playing on them. So they decided if kids wanted a place to play and have fun, they would start a Pumpkin Fiesta. The event features hayrides, pony rides, pig races and more.
Since the couple took over the farm, each year they have tried to add to it. They created the cider barn, where they sell homemade cider and donuts. There is the cantina, where they serve lunches in the fall and the apple barn was built to offer more retail space for apple products.
Melinda said things started to change and people were not picking as big of quantities of fruit, leaving the farm with a lot of waste. So they decided to take their fruit and turn it into wine. So in 2004, Vizcarra Vineyards opened.
The winery offers unique flavor wines, including apple, strawberry rhubarb, raspberry, blueberry and more.
“That was a really great addition to the farm because it brought another age group,” said Melinda. “People didn’t have to have kids. They could come just to enjoy the wine and being on the farm.”
After five years of having the winery, they decided to expand. Many people would comment they loved the wine, but asked where the beer was. So the farm partnered with Flying Bison and opened a brewery.
They also expanded their wine selection by planting vineyards. They now offer 20 different kinds of wines, including traditional red and white wines.
In 2006 they held their daughter Amanda Craft’s wedding on the farm. Shortly after, people began to ask if they could have their wedding at Becker Farms. So in 2007, they held their first public wedding there and now they hold three weddings each weekend.
“Our idea is we want to have something for everybody,” said Melinda.
The farm is now in its fifth generation. Amanda works with private events and the weddings for the farm. Their son Andres Vizcarra makes the wine and Oscar, Jr. Vizcarra helps grow the crops and is in charge of their Community Supported Agriculture program, where people can buy into the crop and receive their share of the produce each week.
This fall, Becker Farms will again hold their Pumpkin Fiesta on weekends through Oct 28. They will also hold their Haunted Hayride event, which is held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from Oct. 6 through Oct. 28. There are also U-pick pumpkins available.
For more information about Becker Farms, 3724 Quaker Road in Gasport, visit www.beckerfarms.com.