Strawberry season runs approximately June 20th to July 20th. In 2019, the cool and slow start to the spring has delayed the start of our harvest, but also delayed the end of the harvest as well. Our season started with an early pre-pick on June 25th and lasted all the way until July 28th making it one of the latest seasons in our history. Berry yield was excellent with more berries than we could pick and a number of volunteers picked berries for the local food bank. With any luck, we'll be able to match the yield and quality for years to come!
Strawberries are a long standing tradition at Richmond Nursery. We're the longest running strawberry grower in Eastern Ontario and we're very proud of our field. We pride ourselves on having the best berries and strive for flavour and quality over all else.
June bearing strawberries are perennials that bare fruit annually. Different kinds of berries have a slightly different maturity time and characteristics. The average berry season is from June 20th to July 20th, but factors like weather play a critical role in fruit maturity dates.
When you plan a a visit to a berry field, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Dress for the weather - it can be hot, or cold. Berry fields are quite exposed so protect yourself from the sun.
- Make sure to wear appropriate footware because you are in a field.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Berries are on the ground so you will have to bend down and will spend lots of time on your knees to pick the best berries.
- Bring your own baskets to pick in and help reduce packaging waste. 2l, 3l, or 4l baskets can be used for picking.
- Pick all the ripe berries not just the "big one". Mother Nature can't make every berry huge and the small berries still pack a great flavour punch.
- Don't expect berries to be exposed and visible while standing up. Berries like to hide under the leaves and be protected from the sun so be sure to bend down and look under the leaves.
- When you're assigned a row, please stay in your row. Berries need to be picked systematically since left over berries will stop the plant from producing more new berries. The more berries the plant produces, the easier it is to pick.
- Make sure to watch your children and have them pick in front of you in their row. Squishing berries is wasting fruit and nobody likes wasted fruit, especially after all the effort we put into growing them.
- Be fair and respectful for all the hard work we do. Sampling is allowed, but don't steal berries in hidden containers or pick without the intention of purchasing berries. That hurts all of us.
- Cooperate with Mother Nature - not every berry ripens at the same time and different days have more or less to harvest. Thank her for the fruit available when you do come.
Above all, have fun the field and enjoy your strawberries. After all, there's nothing quite like the taste of fresh berries on a hot summer day.