By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nancy Bauer knows a thing or two about strawberries.

“If you’re going to pick a favorite fruit, it’s going to be strawberries,” she said.

She and her husband, Bill, have been growing them at Bauer Berry Farm in Champlin since 1977. But this year, strawberries are off the picking menu right now. The cold spring and late snow pushed back strawberry season by almost three weeks to peak around the 4th of July holiday, when many customers are out of town. Some producers are worried.

“We’re nervous,” Bauer said. “A lot of times business drops off after [the fourth].

At the Minneapolis farmers market downtown, none of the vendors had locally grown strawberries for sale.

“That’s Minnesota for you, one year you’re way ahead and the next you’re way behind,” said Glen Luedtke, owner of Peterson Flowers.

The good news is all of the rain will help the crop. Farmers say the excessive rain will make for a better berry.

“They should be bigger this year, I would think,” Luedtke said.

So while the cold delayed the season, the rain will actually help produce more strawberries, possibly tastier ones, too.

“I think our berries are better because they’re just like Minnesotans, tougher because we endure winter,” Bauer said.

She’s OK with her thousands of strawberries taking a little longer to peak if all that rain is going to help fill baskets.

“It’s always worth the wait,” she said. “You can’t have better than fresh fruit.”

She said her farm produces 9,000 pounds of strawberries per acre.


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