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Cold spring prompts delay in strawberry picking season at Belluz Farms near Thunder Bay

Jul 16, 2019 05:47PM ● By Editor
Due to the cold spring, the strawberry picking season started about 10 to 12 days late this year, says co-owner of Belluz Farms, Jodi Belluz. Photo:

From CBC News Thunder Bay - July 16, 2019

It's certainly later than usual but the strawberry patches at Belluz Farms, just outside of Thunder Bay, Ont., are open for picking this season.

"The latest we've had so far has been July 17th, so we're not quite there, but our usual start is somewhere between July 3 to July 5, so we're a good 10 to maybe 12 days late for sure," co-owner of Belluz Farms, Jodi Belluz said.

She said the lack of sun and warmth this spring didn't just affect the strawberries at the farm this year, but also other produce and crops as well, which is the reason for the late start.

However, there won't be as many fresh-picked strawberries as previous years, Belluz added, as the farm experienced the "worst year on record" in the winter of 2018, damaging some patches, which will take them "a couple years to recover."

"I think the pick-your-own customers won't notice anything," she said, "We definitely give priority to the pick-your-own customers [because] they are the ones that are driving all the way to the farm and making the effort to be there, so they kind of get the first pick."

Belluz Farms is located just outside of Thunder Bay in Slate River Valley. Image Courtesy Belluz Farms

The farm also has pick-your-own peas and Saskatoon berries available starting this week, with the sweet corn coming later in the season, near the end of August.

Pick-your-own-berries are open in the morning from 9 a.m. to noon, however the farm store and the farm itself are open until 5 p.m.

To read the original article and hear an audio report, follow this link to the CBC Thunder Bay website.

Editors Note:  From the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website:  

"Fruits and Vegetables

It is best not to bring fresh fruits or vegetables into the United States. Travelers may check the general admissibility of fruits and vegetables by consulting the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service APHIS's FAVIR database. Simply select the country of origin in the "Country/Region:" field. You may also call APHIS toll free at 877-770-5990 or at 301-851-2046. Or, email to [email protected].

Every fruit or vegetable must be declared to a CBP Agriculture Specialist or CBP Officer and must be presented for inspection - regardless of its admissibility status. Fresh fruits and vegetables need to be clean and may be prohibited if they have insects or diseases."

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