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P.E.I. strawberry harvest delayed

Allan Coffin’s grandchildren display some of the berries they helped pick on Tuesday at Coffin’s Berry Farm. From left are Jared Cadieux, 12, William Coffin, 7, Cayle Coffin, 12, and Jayde Cadieux, 15. The farm’s U-pick is expected to open later this week.
Allan Coffin’s grandchildren display some of the berries they helped pick on Tuesday at Coffin’s Berry Farm. From left are Jared Cadieux, 12, William Coffin, 7, Cayle Coffin, 12, and Jayde Cadieux, 15. The farm’s U-pick is expected to open later this week. Watch for the notice in The Guardian. - Sally Cole

Growers say U-picks to open later this week

PISQUID WEST - Anyone longing for strawberry shortcake made with freshly-picked, local berries will have to wait a little bit longer this year.

That’s because a late spring has delayed their sweet taste.

“We just started picking on Monday. We’re running about a week and a half behind,” says Allan Coffin of Coffin’s Berry Farm.

The Pisquid West strawberry grower lost approximately 90 per cent of the blossoms of his early varieties, due to frost this spring.

“The later varieties fared a little better.”

Even so, he’s not sure of his extensive the damage is.

“We’ve lost two pickings. The cold winter and frost also impacted on our berry size.”

Coffin expects there will be more damage to report before the season is over.

“We’re waiting for nature to unfold in the next couple of weeks,” says Coffin, who hopes to have the U-pick up and running by the weekend.

“Watch for our ad in The Guardian.”

It’s the 70th anniversary of the farm his parents, Junior Coffin and Helen started. “And it’s one of our worst years.”

Woods Farms in Stratford is also experiencing a delay in their season.

But, have no fear, they’re coming, says owner Della Wood.

“We have lots of green ones. If the weather stays good we hope to start picking July 16,” says Wood, adding a U-pick will start around the same time.

At Penny’s Berries in Belfast, Jennifer Penny is also expecting a late start.

“We’re at the hay today,” she said Monday. “Hopefully we can start picking the berries by the end of the week.”

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