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June 06, 2024

Just in time for local food week, June 3-9, locally-grown Ontario field strawberries are now available at store shelves, farmers’ markets and pick-your-own locations across Ontario.


A highly anticipated treat for local food enthusiasts, the strawberry season no longer remains confined to spring and early summer. Thanks to the innovation of “day neutral” strawberries, the season now extends into late fall, allowing for a longer period of enjoyment of the sweet and tasty locally grown fruit.


"Day-neutral strawberries have revolutionized the strawberry industry in Ontario," says Victoria Buma, the research and promotion coordinator at the Berry Growers of Ontario. “Unlike traditional varieties, which rely on specific daylight conditions and develop fruit during the long days in spring, day-neutral strawberries continue to produce buds throughout summer and fall, significantly lengthening the berry season.”


To tackle weather-related challenges and ensure consistent production, an increasing number of farmers are adopting innovative farming techniques. One such method involves growing strawberries on tabletops inside open-ended plastic tunnels. This system, widely used in Europe, protects the delicate fruit from weather damage, resulting in reduced loss and waste.


"Our aim is to reduce waste and enhance sustainability in strawberry production," mentions Dalton Cooper, strawberry grower in Norfolk County. “By growing strawberries in controlled environments, we can minimize the impact of weather fluctuations, ultimately providing consumers with top-quality berries."


Furthermore, some Ontario farmers are embracing indoor production methods to grow strawberries under glass in greenhouses all year long.


For more information about Ontario strawberries and where to purchase them in your area, visit the Berry Growers of Ontario website.


Source:  Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association June 5, 2024 news release


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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 6 June 2024