Slow start to strawberry season

By Caroline Goggin

June 19, 2014 Updated Jun 19, 2014 at 6:49 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Weather conditions pushed back the start of strawberry season, but after a long wait, pickers are finally out and filling their baskets with summer treats.

"I'm like an expectant father. I'm kind of stressed out because I want the season to start, but it hasn't started yet," said Apple Hills co-owner David Johnson.

For local farms in Broome County, like Apple Hills in the Town of Chenango, strawberry season is just beginning.

The good soil in the Southern Tier has contributed to the success of this growing season.

However, the heavy rain in our area has caused many problems for growers.

"The early ones were bigger than normal. It was cool and rainy, so there was a lot of water from the berries and they developed well," said field manager at North Windsor Berries Bill Titus. "It's just that a lot of them rot on the ground where they touch the ground because it was too wet."

Rain wasn't the only setback for budding strawberries.

The harsh winter and slow spring left some places without any crop for the summer.

"If you're not on good ground, I know a lot of people have lost the heaving with the winter. The freezing and really cold weather killed a lot of plants," Titus added.

Despite the conditions, this summer fruit favorite is finally starting to sprout up, and just in time for anxious crowds to get outside and pick them.

"Maybe not quite as pretty as they should be, but they'll taste great," said Johnson. "We've got berries to pick right now and they are fine."

Owners at both farms tell us that the strawberry crop this season was really affected by the heavy rain.

But for all of the strawberry lovers out there, the ones that are ripe and ready to go are delicious.

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