The time is ripe for picking strawberries - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

The time is ripe for picking strawberries

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This is the first year that JK Orchard and Farm have welcomed the public in to pick their own strawberries. This is the first year that JK Orchard and Farm have welcomed the public in to pick their own strawberries.
There's something special about picking your own strawberries from the field. There's something special about picking your own strawberries from the field.

There's something special about picking your own strawberries from the field, and the public has a few options to do just that.

This is the first year that JK Orchard and Farm have welcomed the public in to pick their own strawberries, and despite a slight setback with the late winter-like weather, they say it's been a pleasant surprise to see people stopping by.

"We really weren’t sure what to expect, and it’s been a great turn out, especially with having it as a Facebook event - that really helped a lot of people come out," said Karen Wince Co-Owner of JK Orchard and Farm. "I would say in the mornings we get anywhere from 20 to 30 carloads, so some that’s two people, some that’s a whole bunch of people with kids included."

But not every strawberry farmer was lucky this year - Suter's Produce just south of Pandora was affected not necessarily just by the weather but by a tiny, unwelcome guest.

"We found out that a little, tiny bug, very small, 1 mm long, called a thrip got blown in from the southern states - they don’t fly very well but they got blown in with the hot winds in May - and sucked the life out of the strawberry blooms, and pretty much killed them," said Jerry Suter, Co-Owner of Suter's Produce.

Because of that tiny bug, Suter isn't able to sell any of the berries that had been growing for this season. But even with the setback, Suter is keeping his head high, and looking to the fall and all of the crops that he plans on selling in the not too distant future.

"We do have sweet corn coming up, that’s a good crop for us, we'll be looking forward to that in the fall season with the corn maze and the pumpkins and all that, so we have something to fall back on," said Suter.

Suter says that the bugs shouldn't live through the winter, and is hopeful for next year's crop.

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