The telltale sign of summer, sweet, red strawberries are experiencing a good season so far.
Now in his 30th season, Kennie Parker says the strawberry season is going well at Parker’s Farm.
“My father started the farm in 1958 and we haven’t missed a season yet,” he explains.
Parker says they picked their first berries on June 23 and are nearing the end of the season with roughly a week left to get the fresh, ripe berries straight from the source.
The heat this summer has helped ripen the berries to their optimal colour, although a little rain wouldn’t hurt.
He says a typical season can last anywhere from three to four weeks depending on the variety of strawberries planted, some are harvested earlier than others.
Parker tries to plant both so he can get a bit of an extended season.
Although not a U-Pick, people can go to Parker’s farm to purchase freshly picked berries seven days a week, depending on the weather.
Margaret Minney of Mountain Farm, a U-Pick in River John agrees it has been a good season. She opened her U-Pick on July 1 for the season and says she has roughly a week left depending on the weather.
“It’s been quite busy,” she says. “We do need rain… but it looks like a good crop.”
Minney is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for people to come pick their own berries or pick up some fresh, already picked berries from the field.
“If you want picked berries, it’s best to call the night before to let us know how many you want so we can have them ready,” she explains.
For anyone going to pick their own strawberries, Minney recommends wearing a hat, sunscreen, bringing water and having a little bug spray on hand wouldn’t hurt either.
Peter MacLean of MacLean’s U-Pick said it’s been a very good season so far.
“They (the berries) are looking real good.”
MacLean’s U-Pick opened for the season on July 4 and could only open the U-Pick for two days because they were picked out and had to let more berries ripen.
He says they have a good looking crop and should be able to pick another couple of weeks.
Above: Dawson Lonergan enjoys the spoils of his work in the strawberry fields at Parker’s Farm in Greenhill. INSET, from the left, Star Francis and Destiny Winn pick strawberries at Parker’s Farm. The season is nearing its close. (Harvie photos)