By Mary McGuire

MABEL, Minn. (WCCO) — If strawberries are nature’s candy, then you could call Wayne Wold a candy man.

“An old philosopher once said if God could have made a better fruit, he surely would have and that’s all I know,” Wold said.

His family has been farming on the same land in Mabel since the 1800s, but Wayne only started up with berries a mere 40 years ago.

“I was a chemist for eight years, and I decided to heck with it, and came back to my first love,” Wold said.

That passion for his first love is what makes what happened on June 9 even more devastating.

(credit: CBS)

“You age in a hurry, but there’s nothing you can do about it,” Wold said. “It just happens. It happens to everybody, one time or another. It was my turn, I guess.”

Wind-driven hail and massive flooding washed away almost an entire season of strawberries and with it, more than $50,000 in potential profits.

“They were just getting some ripe ones in the patches that got destroyed,” Wold said.

The season is already short in Minnesota, where farmers have to weather almost every kind of weather.

Tuesday marked the last day for customers to pick their own berries at Wold Strawberries for the summer. One day of storms shaved 10 days off the normal season, leaving just a week and a half for people to come and pick their own.

Farming fruit can be a gamble, but Wold tells WCCO-TV both he and his strawberries will be back at it again next season.

Mary McGuire


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