Minnesota’s notoriously unpredictable weather patterns have caused the state’s strawberry season a bit of a delay. But despite this year’s slow start, farmers still are expecting a bountiful crop.
Lasting only two to three weeks, the strawberry season in Minnesota goes by quickly.
“A couple of fields are blooming and by next week we’ll be in full bloom, so it’ll be closer to the tenth of June before we open,” Michael Lunemann of Lunemann’s LuneyBerries Strawberry Farm commented.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture advises those interested in availability to check with local patches as conditions can vary across the state.
Stuart Lavalier of Lavalier’s Berry Patch in Grand Rapids believes that the upcoming weather will help speed crops along now, but he expects that harvest won’t begin until after July 4.
“They look very good, I think it’s going to be a good crop,” Lavalier said. “It’s just going to take a little bit longer to ripen.”
The Lavalier’s Berry Patch & Orchard grow a variety of fruits and has noticed the weather affecting these other crops as well.
“Overall, the strawberry and blueberry crops look good. With good pollination during bloom there has been good fruit set. A little frost on June 13 made us nervous but we covered the plants with a floating row cover and little damage occurred,” Lavalier remarked. “The crop that really should be exciting this year are the tart cherries. Five different varieties will be available and the crop looks plentiful. Honeycrisp and First KISS apple trees showed their susceptibility to cold winter temperatures this past winter but SweeTango, Zestar, Frostbite and a few others came through just fine.”
To find local farmers markets or local pick-your-own strawberry fields, visit www.minnesotagrown.com/search-directory/ to look through the 2019 Directory of 75 strawberry farms. You can also order a free printed directory at www.minnesotagrown.com/order-minnesota-grown-directory/ or call 1-800-657-3878.