MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Farmers, as you can imagine, pay a lot of attention to the weather.

“In the last few days we’ve had over 6 inches of rain,” said Paul Nelson, of Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm in Montrose.

This year, the long cold winter and soggy spring are making farmers’ jobs that much harder.

“Every day you get up, you’re hoping for a dry day to keep your boots clean,” Nelson said. “But it’s just not happening this year.”

The mucky fields are making it tough for Untiedt’s Farm, where they grow many fruits and vegetables.

“We raise sweet corn, tomatoes, green beans, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peppers, pumpkins, bedding plants, flowers,” Nelson said.

All of their crops are behind schedule, but the strawberries are on their way.

“Give us about a week, and we should have strawberries all over the place,” he said.

Strawberry season typically ends when the July heat hits its stride. While our cooler spring stunted their start, it also gave the berries time to grow.

“Strawberries so far this year are generally large and very abundant,” Nelson said.

There’s still time for them to get sun before they’re ripe for picking.

“What tends to happen when we have too much rain, they tend to be a little more watery, they tend not to last as long,” he said.

But we all know that once you have that first, fresh bite, you won’t have them for long anyway.

“There’s nothing that tastes the same,” Nelson said. “There’s nothing like tasting something that’s been picked dead ripe, ready to eat.”

There are 85 farms in Minnesota that let you pick-your-own strawberries.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield


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