fbpx
1.3 C
Elmira
Sunday, December 8, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

A berry good season?

Waterloo Region strawberry producers are behind due to weather, but indications in the province are sweet

TRENDING

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...

She doesn’t have to be told twice to take a hike

We may not be heading into prime hiking time, but the winter months are certainly fine for...

New MP jumps to the next stage

Ever since he was elected as the new Liberal Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga during the October...

Historical Society Annual General Meeting

The 42nd Annual General Meeting of the Historical Society of St. Boniface and Maryhill Community was held...

THIS WEEK

Elmira
overcast clouds
1.3 ° C
3.3 °
-1.1 °
59 %
4.1kmh
90 %
Mon
4 °
Tue
7 °
Wed
-1 °
Thu
-3 °
Fri
-4 °

With strawberry season in full swing, it seems that the local market sure is taking notice.

Ken and Joy Hoffman of Hoffman’s Strawberries said that Canada Day was so busy on their strawberry farm in Heidelberg that they had to close the pick-your-own section to allow for more ripening, as the majority of their ripe berries were already whisked away.

“It’s great to be on top of the ripening as opposed to being behind,” said Ken. “When that happens, you have soft berries; they spoil, you don’t want that. I would say we’re encouraged – we’re about a week into the season at this point.”

“We have some for sale at the roadside retail right now,” added Joy. “So we’re just getting going; as more berries ripen, our hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. will be more firm.”

They expect to reopen Thursday morning again. While the Hoffmans, along with other local strawberry farms, are only just starting the strawberry season, other farms across the province are well into it. The arrival, finally, of higher temperatures has kicked the process into gear.

“It’s been a later start because of the cool temperatures in May. We’re about 11 days later than last season. It’s going well now – great demand,” said Ken.

Producers in other parts of Ontario, such as Niagara and Simcoe, began their berry season in mid-June. The Berry Growers of Ontario says this summer’s is one of the highest quality crops in years.

“Not only do we have new growing techniques, but we have 200 growers who can bring local berries to market for an extended season,” said Tom Heeman, the organization’s chair, in a release. “That’s good news for consumers who may be used to a short season. Ontario-grown field strawberries can be found May through October. And greenhouse-grown strawberries are now available year-round.”

The new production techniques include raised troughs, allowing for strawberries to be grown at waist height. This makes for easier harvesting and under protective tunnels for better quality. The berry is then shielded from rain and wind, resulting in sweet, high-quality fruit.

Local berries are the way to go for several reasons: environmental benefits, such as a reduced carbon footprint compared to imports, nutritional benefits such as improved brain and gut health, and economic benefits that go to local farmers.

While it may be an excellent berry season province-wide, Ken Hoffman said it’s a bit too soon to say if it has been a good strawberry year in Waterloo Region.

“It’s a bit too early at this point to say ‘Oh it’s been a great year.’ We’re not there yet. For it to be a great year, you need to have three to five weeks of good picking,” he explained. “We’re just past week one so it’s way too early to determine what kind of a year it’s been. But the crop looks great, so the potential is there for a good year.”

 

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.

LIVING HERE

Strong demand for traditional real Christmas trees can exceed supply

With Christmas just a few weeks away there’s only a short time left to pick out the perfect tree, but what will you choose: real or fake? Many retailers are facing dilemmas that...

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.

Kings win another pair, solidify hold on first place

Seven is considered a lucky number. The Sugar Kings likely agree after putting up seven goals twice on route to a pair...

Even those with jobs are increasingly reliant on food banks

An increasing number of full- and part-time workers across Ontario are accessing food bank services, a trend that can be seen in...

Woolwich to attach overdue water bills to property taxes in bid to simplify collections process

Looking to simplify the collection process for overdue water and sewer bills – and increase the chance of getting its hands on...

Putting the cold on ice with the annual hat and mitten toss at Saturday’s Sugar Kings game

There’ll be no need to wait until somebody scores three goals to toss hats out onto the ice, as the Elmira Sugar...

Getting drivers to slow down a slow process in Woolwich Township

Traffic issues, particularly speeding, are a frequent source of public complaints received by Woolwich officials. Often more perception than reality, the topic is...

Jacks fall to second after losing twice over the weekend

Sunday’s lousy weather may not have been to everyone’s liking, but the Wellesley Applejacks might have been the only ones happy...
- Advertisement -