PEI

Prince Edward Island strawberry crop a good one this year

Strawberry season is a time of year many Prince Edward Islanders look forward to and growers say the crop this year is a good one.

All the snow over the winter actually helped the strawberry plants

Della Woods with Woods Farms loads the back of her car with freshly picked strawberries. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Strawberry season is a time of year many Prince Edward Islanders look forward to and growers say the crop this year is a good one.

Brooke Foster was out picking the berries Tuesday and says there's nothing like it.

"If you pick them, they're right there, and they're the best when they're just picked. Like stores aren't tasting as good cause they aren't really just picked that day," she said.

Strawberry picking is a tradition for the Foster family and they go every year.

"Once the summer hits, you want the ripe, freshly picked ones, you can't beat them," Gordie Foster said.

The P.E.I. Strawberry Growers Association says the crop this year  looks good. The group says berries are plentiful and a good size.

Most of the berries grown in P.E.I. stay in the province.

Della Woods with Woods Farms says the red fruit has become a symbol of summer.

"It's one of the first fresh fruits of the season and you know summer is here when strawberries arrive," she said.

Season delayed

Woods says her U-Pick business is seeing more families this year, mainly people who came as children now looking to teach their own kids about local food.

"They make it a family event and they may not pick as many and process it home to jam but they still will freeze some so I see more families coming out to pick," she said.

Steve Ellis is one of the more hardcore pickers, filling tubs with berries for recipes later.

"We're doing jam making this afternoon," he said. "They taste the best plain and simple."

Although the cooler weather delayed P.E.I.'s strawberry season by about a week, all the snow over the winter actually helped the strawberry plants Woods says.

"When they get winter kill, it's usually when there's lack of snow and lots of high cold winds," she said. "It will kill out spots in the field whereas this year we had lots of snow to cover them so it was good that way."

Woods says the plants had lots of blooms this year which is now is translating into lots of berries and the later start to the season means people could be picking into early August.   

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