Great news, berry lovers. Thanks to our mild winter and warm spring (current temps aside, ahem), officials from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) have reported that strawberries should emerge about two weeks earlier than usual this year.
Across the state, locally grown strawberries will be available at farms and farmers’ markets soon, and some farms have already opened their fields for the kick-off of the “pick-your-own” season.
Jim Geoghegan of Sunshine Farm in Sherborn, quoted in the DAR official release, said strawberries are ripening well and a bit early due to March’s unusually warm temperatures. “Our challenge was getting through the frost for four days after the heat in March. But we sprayed water to keep the buds from getting too cold, and now we are looking at being ready for early June.”
Farms across the Commonwealth will be holding special events and festivals in celebration of strawberry season. Here are a few venues and dates:
- Boston Area Gleaners: 3rd Annual Strawberry Fete Fundraiser, June 15, Historic Gore Place, Waltham, 6–9 p.m. Live music, a tour of the gardens and a talk by Gleaners’ founder Oakes Plimpton.
- Connors Farm, Danvers: 2012 Strawberry Festival, June 16, 6–9 p.m., featuring live rockabilly music and a barbecue.
- Verrill Farm, Concord: Strawberry Festival, Saturday, June 23, 11–3 p.m. Enter their Strawberry Dessert Recipe Contest!
For a more comprehensive listing of strawberry farms, plus information on events and festivals, check out DAR’s Mass Grown map, which gives locations and profiles of the amenities offered at Massachusetts farms. Get your buckets ready!