July 4, 2017 3:09 pm
Updated: July 18, 2017 10:43 am

Nova Scotia experiencing a bumper crop of strawberries

Nova Scotia farmers say the right amount of rain and sun have led to a bumper crop this year.

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Thanks to Mother Nature, strawberry season may have started off slow in Nova Scotia but quickly turned around.

“It’s a good year for us so we want to make sure that everybody out there in the consumer world buys Nova Scotia berries,” said Josh Oulton of TapRoot Farms.

Farmers say the right amount of rain – and sun – have led to a bumper crop this year.

“Last year was a bit difficult because it was so dry so we had to do a lot of water, pumping,” said Oulton.

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“You can’t replace mother natures water, it just comes down out of the sky and brings stuff with it I guess, that really, the plants really love. You can irrigate and do all that stuff but it doesn’t seem to have the same umph as what falls out of the sky. It’s been great. It’s been ideal growing conditions.”

READ: Virus damages 40 per cent of province’s strawberry crops

The excellent strawberry season is leading to more people picking their own berries across the province.

“Busy U-Picks, very very busy U-Picks. U-picks are actually selling out. Some had to close early,” said Marlene Huntley, Executive Director with Horticulture Nova Scotia.

“This year, they’re busy and they’re happy. So there’s been beautiful days to get out and pick so it’s really brilliant when people get out and buy them in stores or markets or pick your own.”

READ MORE: NS Strawberry prices in flux as local growers, retailers deal with virus

The strawberry industry is worth $20 million annually, making it an important part of the Nova Scotia economy.

“It’s a very, very large part of our agriculture industry,” said Huntley.

“We have a lot of growers from end to end in our province. The other thing is timing. The berries may be on now but as you move further north and east, the berries come on a little bit later. So if somebody’s coming this week for berries now, they can go in the other direction in Nova Scotia a little bit later.”

It’s expected Nova Scotia strawberries will be available until the end of October.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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