As summer rolls in and temperatures warm up, berry-picking season has arrived in Vermont despite a late season frost almost ruining the crops.
Full Belly Farm near the Hinesburg and Monkton town line opened its strawberry fields Wednesday morning for customers to come fill their buckets with the fruit. Stephen Park, the farm’s owner, said the strawberries almost didn’t come into bloom this year due to a period of extreme cold in mid-May. Park says he had to take extra measures to protect his crops when the cold hit, including pulling row covers over the strawberries and running overhead irrigation.
“We already put a year of work into growing this fruit, and if we lose it in one night, that’s a year of labor and expense,” Park said.
According to Park, the temperatures dropped to a low of 20 degrees at ground level on the farm when the mid-May frost hit. However, the crops were saved due to a protective layer of ice that ended up covering them, essentially freezing them in place but not killing them.
Full Belly Farm is open every Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.