This Season's Strawberries Are Ready For Picking

By KBJR News 1

July 19, 2013 Updated Jul 19, 2013 at 4:59 AM CST

Carlton, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- This season's strawberries are ready for picking, and Finke's berry farm owner's are saying that this years crop is looking as colorful and as juicy as ever.

Diane Finke and her husband Doug started their strawberry farm in 1986, when their land had only been a grass hayfield.

"That first summer after we had grown everything, and everything was in the bank, we had $400," said Diane.

As they have grown and developed the strawberry field, the Finke's have perfected the process.

"This is my office. It's great," said Doug.

They eventually decided that growing strawberries without petroleum based fertilizers or pesticides was the route to go.

"We're doing a good job. It's a good sport to be in, and when people are grateful and they drive a hundred miles or more to get this fruit, it's like I say, it's a very humbling sport that we're in," said Doug.

Although we had a late and cold spring this year, it actually had a positive effect on this year's strawberry season.

"The cooler part of the spring has been great for us. It allows for slow ripening. This heat is not a friend," said Doug.

The strawberry picking season typically lasts about 3 to 3 1/2 weeks long.

"No matter what size they are, just so they're red, they're all good for picking," said Diane.

"When it's orange, the magic hasn't happened in there yet. When it's red that's when the magic has happened, the sugar content is there, and the flavor is there," said Doug.

This year's strawberry crop was planted last year, when the Finke's planted 85,000 plants to fill up the 10 acres of strawberry plants that are available to pick, right now.

"When the people are here and they're happy, and they're just having a good time, and everybody is smiling when they go out of the patch holding their buckets of berries, that's the best part," said Diane.

"It's very humbling when you say 'Thank you,' and they say, 'No, thank YOU'," said Doug.

As strawberries ripen they first go from green, to white, and are ready to eat when they turn red.

Elsa Robins
erobins@kbjr.com