Strawberries for the summer win

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Mid-summer is strawberry time in southwestern Ontario. The delicate, luscious red fruit thrives in a climate of warm days and cool nights.

While many “You Pick” farms are for the most part picked out, different varieties of plants mean that you can enjoy Ontario strawberries for most of the summer months, according to Foodland Ontario.

The season has generally been a good one, though more rain could have helped bridge drier periods which shut strawberry plants down and caused a gap in fruit production.

Tristan Pfenning manages two acres of strawberry fields for Pfenning’s Organic Farms in New Hamburg. His strategy was to plant early-ripening varieties in order to find the greatest demand in the market and he’s already planning for next year.

Pfenning grows two varieties of early-June strawberries and two varieties of day-neutral or “ever bearing” strawberries (plants less sensitive to the length of day for growing) that lengthen harvest time.

“We shied away from berries ripening later than June because that’s when everybody has more berries than they know what to do with. The market is flooded and the prices go down,” said Pfenning, who has a horticulture diploma from the University of Guelph.

For more, visit CBC-KW.

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