Picha Farms raspberries will be featured on the television show hosted by former “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks. Every season, Hicks assembles plates in different states that reflect that state’s famous foods and flavors.
Around this time of year, Picha Farms in Puyallup is known for its pumpkins and its corn maze.
But its raspberries are also stealing the spotlight this October.
Picha Farms raspberries will be featured on “ State Plate,” a television show hosted by “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks. Every season, Hicks assembles plates in different states that reflect that state’s famous foods and flavors.
When the second season of his show brought him to Washington state, Hicks wanted to seek out locally grown raspberries as part of the dessert portion of the plate he created.
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His quest led him to Dan and Russ Picha, owners of Picha Farms.
When they were initially contacted for the show, the two brothers were excited. “We thought it was pretty cool,” said Dan, 62.
As a farmer, Russ said that it made sense for raspberries to be a part of Washington’s plate.
“Washington is the top-selling state in the nation for raspberries,” said Russ, 55.
With the brothers on board, Hicks and his crew visited Picha’s Berry Farm in July. At first, Dan and Russ weren’t sure of what to expect when the crew arrived at 6 a.m., but the brothers’ crews were already out harvesting the raspberries, which grow on about 10 of the farm’s 60 acres. During raspberry season, from the end of June to the end of the July, crews harvest every day between 5 a.m. and 1 p.m.
“They were in the mix of daily activities,” Dan said about the production crew.
For the last 10 years, Picha Farms has done a “U-Pick,” where customers can come pick their own batch of berries. Hicks got to experience that, too.
“We got to pick the raspberries right off the vine, and they were bursting with flavor,” Hicks said.
Dan and Russ said they never experienced TV like this before, but at the end of the day it was fun. Savory and Sweet Catering Company in Puyallup shared its raspberry tarts made with Picha Farms raspberries with the “State Plate” crew, and the brothers showed them around Puyallup while sharing their family’s legacy.
Dan and Russ are the third generation to carry on Picha Farms, which was established in 1904 by their grandfather. Their father carried on the tradition and now they do the same, providing locally fresh pumpkins and berries.
“That was our way of life,” Dan said. “It could be hard to get up in the summer, but at the end of the day it was rewarding.”
“I don’t think we’d be here if we didn’t like it,” Russ added.
And they don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.
The Washington “State Plate” episode premieres at 5 p.m. Oct. 27 on INSP.