Warm, sunny spring leads to early strawberry harvest - KPTV - FOX 12

Warm, sunny spring leads to early strawberry harvest

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Source: KPTV Source: KPTV
Source: KPTV Source: KPTV
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The hot, dry spring means local farmers are harvesting strawberries much earlier than normal.

Staff at Liepold Farms is preparing to open their farm stand on Richey Road this week because strawberries are ready to be picked.

“For us to come out and find a complete ripe strawberry by May 4 is shocking. Completely ripe,” said Marcia Liepold.

Liepold said they usually expect strawberries to come on around June 1.

Last year, they were ready for picking on May 23.

The Liepolds grow several other types of berries on their farm in Boring, all of which are growing well ahead of schedule.

“Raspberries, our marions are even blooming, almost full bloom,” she said. “The boysens are in full bloom.”

Other farms are harvesting early as well.

Freshly picked strawberries are already for sale at the Joe’s Place Farms store in Vancouver.

Sauvie Island Farms may open their u-pick farm by the end of May, according to their website.

The hot, dry weather also creates challenges for farmers.

The Liepolds are relying on pricier irrigation, instead of rain, to water their berry fields.

Additionally, many of the migrant workers who come to Oregon from California to pick berries have not arrived yet, Liepold said.

However, they’re hopeful this year’s crop will live up to its early promise.

“That’s how you live," said Liepold. "The hope you have a good crop and you can get it harvested. That’s what farming is about.”

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