Har­vest de­layed

Many straw­berry U-picks to open later this week

Journal Pioneer - - THE ISLAND - BY SALLY COLE

Any­one long­ing for straw­berry short­cake made with freshly picked, lo­cal berries will have to wait a lit­tle bit longer this year. That’s be­cause a late spring has de­layed their sweet taste. “We just started pick­ing on Mon­day. “We’re run­ning about a week and a half be­hind,” says Al­lan Cof­fin of Cof­fin’s Berry Farm. The Pisquid West straw­berry grower lost ap­prox­i­mately 90 per cent of the blos­soms of his early va­ri­eties, due to frost this spring. “The later va­ri­eties fared a lit­tle bet­ter.” Even so, he’s not sure of his ex­ten­sive the dam­age is. “We’ve lost two pick­ings. “The cold win­ter and frost also im­pacted on our berry size.” Cof­fin ex­pects there will be more dam­age to re­port be­fore the sea­son is over. “We’re wait­ing for na­ture to un­fold in the next cou­ple of weeks,” says Cof­fin, who hopes to have the U-pick up and run­ning by the week­end. It’s the 70th an­niver­sary of the farm his par­ents, Ju­nior Cof­fin and Helen started.

“And it’s one of our worst years.” Woods Farms in Strat­ford is also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a de­lay in their sea­son. But, have no fear, they’re com­ing, says owner Della Wood. “We have lots of green ones. “If the weather stays good we hope to start pick­ing July 16,” says Wood, adding a U-pick will start around the same time. At Penny’s Berries in Belfast, Jen­nifer Penny is also ex­pect­ing a late start. “We’re at the hay to­day,” she said Mon­day. “Hope­fully we can start pick­ing the berries by the end of the week.”

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Al­lan Cof­fin’s grand­chil­dren dis­play some of the berries they helped pick on Tues­day at Cof­fin’s Berry Farm. From left are Jared Cadieux, 12, Wil­liam Cof­fin, 7, Cayle Cof­fin, 12, and Jayde Cadieux, 15. The farm’s U-pick is ex­pected to open later this week.

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