PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Though slightly behind schedule this year in parts of our region, strawberry season is back.
“Next week, this field will just be ready to start picking,” said Norm Schultz of Linvilla Orchards.
This year, Linvilla is holding limited picking hours on Saturday before fully opening the fields for its annual Strawberry Festival from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 2.
“We love the strawberries here. We came three times last year to pick strawberries,” said Marisa Rowlson of Fishtown, who brought her 2-year-old son Vance.
Schultz says the recent round of wet weather almost put a damper on the crop’s yield across six acres of strawberry fields.
“Last week it rained seven inches of rain in 10 days,” he said. “If the berries were ripe a week ago, we probably would’ve lost 50 percent of our crop.”
Thankfully, he says, a cold winter delayed the fruit’s ripening process at Linvilla, though several farms in Delaware are reportedly battling reduced yields.
“When you have ripe fruit, it’s full of sugar and it rots. But when you have green fruit, there’s no sugar in the fruit yet and it can take the rain,” he said.
And though the field he’s chosen comes with a lot of uncontrollable factors, he says what he reaps from the job is what makes it worthwhile.
“When you just see this field and it’s just green and on a day of picking, there’s just boxes and boxes of red fruit coming out, it’s very rewarding.”