Springridge Farms in Milton officially opened its fields to the public June 16th.
The fruit was about a week behind schedule because of the cool, wet weather that persisted throughout the early spring, said owner John Hughes.
However, the berries are now ready and ripe for the picking.
“We hope we have enough people coming to harvest the crop,” Hughes said, adding the late start to the picking season means there's a shorter grace period before the typical blazing heat of July.
“What makes us nervous as strawberry farmers is as we get closer to the 1st of July, we get into this very warm weather, and then the fruit ripens very quickly,” he explained.
Temperature has a huge impact on how quickly the fruit ripens, Hughes said. The ideal daytime temperature is about 25°C, with cooler nights.
“With warm nights especially, the fruit ripens very quickly,” Hughes said.
Of course, not all strawberries are created equal: there are many different varieties that mature at different times in the season. The start of strawberry season also varies by region.
If you're planning to do some picking, Hughes recommends going first thing in the morning when the air and berries are cooler. It's also a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and pack a water bottle.