A Short Strawberry Season Keeps Brooklyn Park Farm Busy
A strawberry patch bordered by suburban sprawl and busy Highway 169 is one of the last ones remaining in the northwest metro. Bert Bouwman’s small berry patch is part of his 170-acre Brooklyn Park farm.
“June berrys,” Bouwman said. “There’s nothing like it.”
This year Bouwman’s strawberry patch has produced a bumper crop. People crave the tiny red gems and he says business is trending up, partially because Bauer Berry Farm in Champlin closed last fall.
“The demand for strawberries is huge,” Bouwman said. “Bauer’s being gone increases the demand. They found us here and they are happy.”
“I’m very thankful it’s open,” said Naomi Strenn of Brooklyn Park. “This is very good that we have somewhere you can run and get some fresh strawberries.”
Pull Up, Pay and Go at This Strawberry Patch
At Bouwman’s farm, employees pick the berries for you. Just pull up, pay and go.
“If we allow a lot of people in a small patch it will create a lot of chaos,” explained Bouwman for the decision not to let customers pick their own berries.
The window for a strawberry harvest is short. Farmers like Bouwman put in 11 1/2 months for a couple weeks of profit and even that can be ruined if the weather isn’t perfect.
“You can have winter injury,” Bouwman said. “You can have too much rain and too little rain and bugs.”
Bouwman says his strawberry crop will sell quickly, so for customers, this week is the week to get fresh berries at his farm.
“We are hoping to make it through Sunday, but for sure ’til Friday and hopefully Saturday and Sunday,” Bouwman said. “Then we’ll be done for the season.”
Customers like Naomi Strenn are thankful they stopped by for fresh strawberries.
“It’s fresh, it’s good. It tastes super,” she said.