ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Picking strawberries is usually back breaking work, but at the Berry Patch in Melrose, there's no bending involved.
When you walk around the u-pick berry patch, you might notice something unusual: the strawberries are above ground.
Owners Horman and Noreane Walker grow the berries in PVC pipes several feet off the ground. "We've cut holes or troughs down the pipes and put in the potting soil and planted the plants, and then they just grow," Walker said.
That way, pickers don't have to bend down.
The Walkers have been farming for decades. The couple heard about the above-ground farming from a friend about 12 years ago, and have been doing it ever since. "It's our passion," said Walker. "Actually, it started out my husband's passion, and he's my passion, so it's my passion."
The Walkers have four farms across the county, and also grow tomatoes, table grapes and raspberries.
Noreane says that the strawberries grown in the pipes are a little less sweet than those grown in the ground, but people don't seem to mind.