Be berry excited
Weather delays strawberries, but farmers expect big crops
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Weather may have delayed strawberry picking in Minnesota, but it will still be an abundant season for berry farmers.
For Firefly Berries in northeast Rochester, the first morning of picking strawberries was June 20.
Dean Sanner, who owns the farm with his wife, Tonya, said they were about a week behind schedule, usually opening for picking about a week before Father’s Day.
But a late opening doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bad year for the red, juicy berries, said Sanner.
“It’s looking like it’s going to be a pretty good year,” he said. “It’s been steady temperatures, and not very hot or very cold.”
The low-growing bushy plants were bearing lots of flowers, which usually translates into lots of berries.
“Here you can see a ton of berries in just a small area, and they’re a decent size,” said Sanner pointing to a large spot of unripe strawberries. “That’s a good sign.”
The Sanner family took over the operation in 2011. They hire high school students for some temporary work, but otherwise rely on their four boys to help with the farm. But Dean Sanner, who works at IBM, said it’s mostly his wife who works the berries.
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