An early start to the strawberry season has been a welcome change for Kingston farmers.
“It’s been a great season. It started really early for us, earlier than ever before,” says Christine Paul, co-owner of Fruition Berry Farm.
“We had a lot of 30-degree days sort of at the end of May and early June, so rather than having about 10 days’ warning from the time our berries start to turn red to the time we open, we had more like five days because the heat really brought them on quickly.”
The warm weather that Ontario experienced throughout May and the beginning of June allowed for what Paul calls “excellent berry weather.”
“Weather is the boss, I always say. You know, the heat really ripens berries and on a very hot day, berries can go from under-ripe to overripe,” she says. “Luckily, because we had such early warm weather and then it cooled down a bit, we’ve had excellent berry weather this year so we couldn’t be more pleased.”
According to Paul, a strawberry-picking season usually lasts between 21 and 28 days once it begins. Monday marks day 20 for her crop.
“So, we’ve been on picking for a few weeks now and we’re certainly on our last week now, but they’re still lovely berries.”
With the season coming to a close, Kingstonians are taking this opportunity to pick strawberries while they last.
“I’ve been here before and every time we go strawberry picking it’s so much better than just buying it at the grocery store,” says Fruition Berry Farm frequenter Carys Casucci. “And it’s the perfect time for strawberry picking so we thought it’d be just a great little fun thing to do with the family.”
If you’re hoping to pick your own basket, this week will be your last chance to do so. Paul reminds potential pickers to check their website or call before coming to ensure there are berries left.
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