"There's plenty of berries this year." That appears to be the sentiment of berry farmers this year as the strawberry season is now in full swing. Traditionally strawberry picking begins the second full week of June but this year mother nature moved the season up a few weeks. Michael Candela of Candela Greenhouse says, "You know the crop comes when it does, we can't control Mother Nature. We've got a nice stretch of weather coming, seven days I think it's beautiful weather. Temperatures mild not really hot and humid and the berries should progress at a good stage where there's enough to pick and we can keep extending the season."
Strawberry pickers are taking advantage of the early season and some have been picking now for two weeks. Pat Cannon of Prospect says, "Usually it's like next week or the week after that I'm going. We did beautifully, beautifully. It would be nicer if the sun would come out and ripen some of the berries but it's wonderful picking." Lee Kascler of New Hartford says, "I thought it would be really back because we've had so much rain, but I think they're nice, good size. They're the size of a quarter if not bigger and a good size plump and sweet."
Farmers say that the mild winter helps this year's crop but much of the success of this year's strawberries depends on the previous season. "Strawberries are affected from the year before...somewhat. And I think that they did get affected last year a little bit and every year's different, you can't figure it out. But I think the mild winter brought them on sooner than we thought, but the cooler temperatures that came afterwards kind of slowed them down to it kind of equaled out."