Boones Ferry Berry Farms in Hubbard was founded by Paul and Cyndi Snegirev over three decades ago on a few simple principles: faith, family, hard work — and a determination to grow the best darn berries around.
After starting off with a humble 10-acre strawberry patch in 1990, the Snegirevs has carefully grown their business to a thriving enterprise encompassing multiple berry varieties and a bustling farm store.
“That first year, it was 50 cents a pound,” Cyndi Snegirev recalled with a laugh. “That was unheard of. We started off growing strawberries for other farmers, learning how to grow and what varieties are the best.
“Over the years, we’ve expanded into blueberries, raspberries, marionberries, but we still specialize in strawberries. They’re a little bit harder to grow, but people love them and they’ve done well for us.”
The most popular strawberry variety is Hood, valued for its size and sweetness. The farm’s heritage is further reflected in the towering 100-year-old barn that was once used to dry hops in the 1950s.
The Snegirevs in 2004 decided to open a small berry shack near the road, which, she admitted, was as much to get her kids involved in the business and keep them busy as anything.
But both the business and the kids thrived — and the store today offers a wide variety of fresh and frozen berries, baked goods, deli sandwiches and spoon sweets — a type of fruit preserve made the traditional way, without pectin.
“It’s how they make it in Europe,” explained Snegirev, whose ancestry, like her husband’s, stems from Russia. “We make fresh kredeli, mikada the way my grandmother used to make it. We try to have some things that are unique.”
The Snegirevs’ commitment to hard work and self-reliance stems from their families’ immigrant backgrounds.
Both Cyndi and Paul were raised by parents who were immigrants themselves, their own parents having been forced to flee their native Russia following the revolution of 1917, after which religion in the country was banned, and groups such as the Russian Orthodox Church were persecuted.
While their parents were born and raised in Turkey and China, respectively, both Paul and Cyndi were born and grew up in the Willamette Valley. An honest day’s work, farming and self-reliance are what they’ve always known.
“We were raised to work hard, stand on our own two feet and not depend on anybody else,” Snegirev said. “Some people are raised to use their heads, we were raised to use our backs, and we’ve been using our backs for a while.”
That’s not just talk, either. The Snegirevs’ days usually start at 4:30 a.m. and end after dark — the one exception being on Sundays.
“We’re always closed on Sundays,” she said. “For us, it’s a resting day, a day for family and for God. I don’t know if I would be able to keep going all day if I didn’t have Sunday. That’s what grounds me: family and God.”
Boones Ferry Berry Farms is located at 19602 Boones Ferry Road Northeast. The farm store and fields are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 503-678-5871 or visit www.boonesberry.com.
Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to expand our operations and keep all of our content paywall-free. #SwimWithTheCurrent!