Strawberry pickings slim so far as cold delays peak season

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Add strawberries to the list of crops that are behind schedule thanks to the cold spring -- in this case, one to two weeks.

But fear not, strawberry lovers, the Associated Press reports "fields full of blooms that promise to become sweet, juicy berries."

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says metro area growers expect to open for picking next week, with the peak coming over the long July Fourth holiday weekend. That's a change from most years when Independence Day signaled the end of metro strawberry season, according to the AP.

WCCO-TV talks to a strawberry grower, Nancy Bauer, who has been growing strawberries in Champlin with her husband since 1977.

"We’re nervous,” Bauer tells the station, saying that business usually falls off after the holiday.

'CCO does some super sleuthing and concludes that at the Minneapolis farmers market downtown, none of the vendors had locally grown strawberries for sale.

But, Bauer and another vendor conclude that while the cold delayed the season, the rain will actually help produce more strawberries, possibly tastier ones, too.

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