-0.1 C
Friday, November 15, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Getting down to the business of enjoying strawberry season: fresh and local


Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new...

End of an era for MP

Two weeks having passed since the federal election, Harold Albrecht has had time to reflect on his...

Candidates make pitch to voters in Woolwich

Largely sticking to their respective party lines, the five candidates running in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding made their one all-candidates...

Meet the candidates

By Veronica Reiner & Aneta Rebiszewski Five candidates are vying for your vote in...


overcast clouds
-0.1 ° C
2 °
-2.2 °
93 %
90 %
2 °
-0 °
1 °
2 °
-0 °

With berry season in full swing, now is the time to attend those pick-your-own farms and kiosks available for prospective buyers around town. Martin’s Family Fruit Farm sells a variety of produce including garlic, beans, and strawberries. Bryan Martin works for the company and has been selling produce for 25 years.

“We just started with a table at the end of our driveway with strawberries,” explained Martin. “I work for a produce company, so I always had access to produce. So that’s how I started.”

While selling strawberries may seem like a straightforward farm-to-table enterprised on the surface, Ontario fruit crops specialist Erica Pate says there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle for its production.

“There are quite a few considerations before planting,” said Pate. “That could include site selection, soil preparation, cultivar selection, determining your labour supply and choosing a market. Strawberries can be grown in a lot of parts of Ontario. For other berry crops, different soils work better than others. So you want to be in the right soil. Water management’s a big issue, pest management.”

“We’re getting once a week rain,” added Martin. “But you need to be set up with irrigation, for sure, because there are times where you will need to irrigate.”

There are other factors to watch out for. Cyclamen mites are invisible to the naked eye, measuring only 0.02 cm at maturity and thrive in humid locations. While it is not the only pest to be wary of, it is expected to be one of the more challenging ones this season.

“The best way to avoid cyclamen mites is to avoid introducing them into your new fields,” said Pates. “They can move pretty easily from old fields that have cyclamen mites to new fields so, and they can travel on machinery, equipment, clothes, animals, and people.  If growers can work in new, clean fields first before moving to older fields, that will reduce the likelihood of introducing them to new fields.”

If growers find themselves in a tricky situation where their berries are damaged, it all comes down to determining what the issue is.

“It could be a nutrient issue, a pest management issue, or a production issue,” said Pate. “So if growers need help with that, they can contact me, or there are fruit consultant in different areas. So if there’s a consultant in their area, they can hire a consultant to help them out. On our website, we have a tool that can help them diagnose the problem. So they can go through the different symptoms they see on their plants, and it can at least help point them in the right direction.”

There are more than a hundred varieties of strawberries.

“It’s interesting, as people are out picking they can probably taste the difference from one variety to another,” said Pate. “Some of the popular ones include Valley Sunset, Jewel, Annapolis, Wendy, and Albion.”

Anyone interested in learning more information can visit the Berry Bulletin at www.onfruit.wordpress.com


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


New watering system is powered by the sun

Many hands may make light work, but automating the process really lessens the load. That’s especially helpful when the work involves relying on volunteers to provide the manual labour.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Sugar Kings turn the screws on Brampton

Another home-and-home winning weekend helped the Elmira Sugar Kings solidify their hold on top spot in the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference. A pair of...

Woolwich stays course with economic development

Woolwich’s vacant economic development and tourism officer (EDTO) position will be retained, councillors decided this week despite any numbers or measures to show...

Virgil Wins the Lottery … but, then again, maybe not

It’s easy to day dream about striking it rich quick by winning the lottery, and all the possibilities that come along with...

Pair of convincing wins sees Jacks improve record

A pair of wins last weekend saw the Wellesley Applejacks jump a notch in the PJHL standings to claim second place in...

Junior girls’ capture EDSS’ first WCSSAA basketball title

In a season that already saw the team rack up win after win, the EDSS junior girls’ basketball team reached new heights...

Woolwich adopts new landscape guidelines for subdivisions as part of greening initiatives

Talk of trees right now typically involved the adjective Christmas, but Woolwich council is focusing just now on guidelines for planting in new...
- Advertisement -