Strawberry season starts soon in Minnesota

Minnesota strawberries will soon be ready for picking. Growers across the state have reported fields full of blossoms and are expecting to be open for pickyour- own and pre-picked strawberries the last two weeks of June.

Berry season is short and sweet, with seasonal availability beginning in southern Minnesota and moving northward. The typical strawberry season is twothree weeks long, but the length of harvest varies from farm to farm depending on varieties planted, weather, and soil type. Mild temperatures in the 70s and 80s extend the season and allow berries to ripen at a steady pace, while excessive heat can cause berries to ripen more quickly and shorten the season.

Minnesota strawberry varieties are grown for their robust, juicy flavor, and not for long shelf life or shipping ability. John Jacobson of Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake gives tips on preserving Minnesota strawberries’ fresh taste.

“Leave the berries in their natural state until you are ready to use them,” said Jacobson, “then wash them up. Waiting to wash the berries will keep them fresher longer and will help them from going bad prematurely.”

Kevin Edberg of The Berry Patch in Forest Lake has grown berries for 41 years. Edberg recommends that visitors call the farm beforehand and properly plan visits.

“Call the farm before going and prepare for being outside,” said Edberg. “Bring things like hats, sunscreen, and a water bottle. Most farms these days provide containers, but verify if you need to bring your own.”

Edberg also recommends calling ahead for those wishing to place orders for pre-picked berries.

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