Wilmington, Ohio – The beautiful straw covered fields are loaded with large, red and juicy strawberries just ripe for picking!!
It is hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago there were hard frosts and temperatures in the twenties! But today fields are full of red ripe strawberries just south of Wilmington at the corner of US 68 South and State Route 350 West.
By taking great care in growing and protecting their precious strawberry crop, the plants are beginning to produce beautiful large berries much earlier this year. “It was a lot of hard work, but our family covered the entire field with large covers throughout the late winter which helped protect our plants from winter injury”, says Marcia Bergefurd owner of Bergefurds Farm Market. “The covers keep the plants and soil about 6 to 8 degrees warmer, therefore the plants start growing and blooming earlier”, says Bergefurd. “If it weren’t for the row covers we would have lost about half of our crop with those hard frosts we had four weeks ago”, says Marcia.
The Bergefurds also take great care in keeping their strawberry plants growing healthy by planting them on a very tall raised bed. “By planting the strawberries on the raised beds the plants warm up quicker in the spring allowing them to bloom and set berries earlier”, says Marcia. “The best thing about the raised beds, however, is you don’t have bend over so far to pick”, says Bergefurd. By covering the raised beds with a thin sheet of black plastic the strawberries never touch the soil and are very clean even with the recent rainstorms.
How has the harvest been going? “With the cooler weather this month the berries have been slower in ripening, which is good”, says Marcia. Strawberries are a cool season crop and they make the sweetest and biggest berries under these cool conditions we have had, so the taste and quality is just excellent!”, exclaims Bergefurd. “Our boys began to sneak into the field to pick some strawberries the week of May 8th, but now harvest is coming into full swing”, said Marcia.
The Bergefurds invite the public out to their farm to see the new way they are growing strawberries. The fields are located at 234 State Route 350 West, on the corner of US Route 68 South and State Route 350 west, just south of Wilmington. If you are interested in picking, please call ahead for picking times (937) 383-2133 or e mail email@example.com or visit their web site http://www.bergefurdsfarmmarket.com