Notes From the Farm: Chris Eckert + Strawberry Fields
Strawberries hold a special place in my heart. This pesky crop is both the most challenging and most anticipated thing we grow. The first ripe strawberry has traditionally signaled the beginning of another year of homegrown fruit. But, these low growing plants are always causing trouble.
This year’s crop is no different. Some cold temperatures in January stunted the plants slightly. Fortunately, the white “blankets” we use to cover the fields provided just enough protection to prevent any serious damage. That was followed up with a colder than normal April. This delayed bloom but the tender buds still needed to be protected. Our farm team took turns sitting up nights, watching temperatures and turning on the irrigation sprinklers when temperatures dipped below 32. By the end of April, we had stayed up 10 nights babysitting.
Now Mother Nature has decided to finally warm things up and our strawberries are loving it. The warmer than normal temperatures this month are helping the berries produce more sugar and dark red color. The berries truly taste delicious and we now have tons of berries just waiting to be picked. It’s always nice when our long nights and days of work produce such a wonderful harvest.
I hope you can come out to our farm and experience this wonderful crop for yourself.