WINNIPEG – Berry season near Winnipeg has been pushed back after our freezing winter and late spring.
They’re the sweet taste of summer but this year the strawberries at Cormier’s Berry Patch in La Salle are a month late.
“Winter was very cold as everyone well knows, which resulted in a later spring, so the strawberries were later coming in this year than normal,” said Cormier’s Berry Patch owner Darren Cormier.
And customers have noticed.
“We were pleasantly surprised — couldn’t believe strawberry picking is so late,” said picker Sandra Negrey.
Cormier’s Berry Patch is only two weeks into its picking season but it should have started at the end of June.
“This year seems they aren’t as plentiful and they’re not as big as they have been in the past,” said Negrey.
“Yield this year to date, we’re only probably about 60 per cent of what we were last year at the time and a lot of it has to do with the cold weather, because last year when it was warmer everything would ripen up quicker,” said Cormier.
That isn’t keeping the public away. Pickers were more than happy to spend $1 to fill a four-litre basket Sunday.
“You get to be in nature, enjoy fruit and have fun,” said Mehmood Batla.
“It’s fun finding the right strawberry — it’s like success — so we’re having a great time,” said berry patch visitor Shaleen Davidson.
“I make jam and I make my own ice cream. It’s just nice; it’s Manitoba fresh,” said Negrey.
Cormier’s is expecting to welcome pickers for another 10 to 14 days before closing up for the season.