Slow start to strawberry picking season in Northeast Wisconsin

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SUAMICO, Wis. (WFRV) A sweet fruit that lots of  people crave during the summer is starting to arrive. But thanks to a cool spring, strawberry season is off to a slow start. 

At Sunny Hill Farm in Suamico strawberry picking season has finally arrived.

“I can’t wait until the start of picking, I have to be out here right away,” said one woman who came for the fruit.

Berries in these fields, ripening  on the vine.

“I think the rain and stuff helped them, they got bigger, they are juicy, they’re sweet,” said another man loaded down with berries..

But Kerry Bruntz says right now his crop is still coming in slowly thanks to cold weather which has pushed back strawberry season roughly 10 days. 

“The cold spring we’ve had has just set everything back so much this year,” said Bruntz of Sunny Hill Farm.”It’s just temperatures, things just need heat to grow quickly.”

Bruntz says this is only the second time he can remember in 30 years that these strawberry fields weren’t ready to pick by mid June.

“Normally we’d be right at the peak of the season, often times by July 4 we’re pretty much wound down,” Bruntz said.

With our recent hot weather some strawberries have ripened, letting Bruntz to open his fields for limited picking this week.

“Tuesday was the first day we opened for pick your own and we were picked out by noon,” he said.

Thursday he opened at 7 a.m. and was picked out three hours later.

“Yes, they do pick out real fast. But there are a lot of green ones. So you know that they will come in. But you just pick the ones you can and enjoy what you get and look to the future too,” said Kerri Van Schyndel, picking berries with her children.

“If we keep this weather,  like I said, probably early next week we should be really kicking,” Bruntz said.

As strawberry season hits high gear, a little late but still as delicious as ever. It’s always a good idea to call ahead to any farm offering strawberries.

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