CHOOSE 607: Strawberry industry trying to make a comeback in Tio - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

CHOOSE 607: Strawberry industry trying to make a comeback in Tioga

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OWEGO (WBNG) -- There are thousands of strawberries ready for the 37th Annual Owego Strawberry Festival, which takes place this Friday and Saturday. Most of them come from Central New York.

It turns out, it has become harder and harder to grow strawberries, especially in Owego.

Frank Wiles, owner and operator of Our Green Acres in Owego, says the industry in Tioga is trying to make a comeback.

"There is a renewed interest in pick your own. To get things fresh. To get out in the fields to have the experience," he said. "To see a Strawberry field and expose your kids to the strawberries and what picking strawberries is all about."
     
His business has been based in Tioga County for more than 50 years. Berry farms in Tioga County are few and far between.  Farther upstate, strawberries are grown at a much larger rate than they are in Tioga and larger farms have the ability grow them indoors.

Very few of Wiles' berries will be ready for Friday.

"There may be some of our berries that make it to the festival at the 11th hour. But right now I cant look people in the eye and say we would have any quantity of berries to be picked prior to the festival."    

Wiles' strawberries will need a few more weeks before they are ready to pick

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