A cool summer and the successful implementation of a growing method from the United States are contributing to a long strawberry season in the Ottawa area this year, farmers say.
"It's quite exciting, in the strawberry industry, to be able do this, to provide the public with strawberry for longer than 30 days," says Larry Shouldice of Shouldice Farm in west Ottawa.
Farmers plant June-bearing plants and ever-bearing plants, and Ottawa farmers say there's normally a gap with no strawberry production after the June-bearing plants produce berries.
The farmers say a growing method brought in from the U.S. — in addition to cool summer temperatures — have erased that gap, meaning they're able to produce strawberries continuously all season long.
The method involves planting the berries in a raised bed, then covering the bed and base of the plant with black plastic.
"I've been growing strawberries for 33 years and this will probably be the best year I've ever had," says David Phillips of Avonmore Berry Farm, southeast of Ottawa.
"This is the longest strawberry season for us. We will have fresh fruit here until into October."
A previous version of this story stated that a new growing method from the U.S. turned June-bearing strawberry plants into ever-bearing strawberry plants. In fact, the growing method (which is not new but was only recently applied to strawberries in Ontario) helped ever-bearing plants produce sooner.Jul 28, 2014 12:36 PM ET