Weather Blamed for Delayed Harvest at Bauer Berry Farm
In the sprawling Twin Cities, the Bauer Berry Farm is an island smack dab in the middle of a concrete jungle.
“When we started growing our strawberries there were a lot of pick your own berry patches just within 10 miles,” said Nancy Bauer, owner of Bauer Berry Farm in Champlin. “Now the closest one is probably 15 and the next closest one is another 30.”
For Nancy Bauer and her family strawberries are a passion. They’ve been growing berries for 41 years.
“We’ve gotten all our gray hair from the stress of strawberries,” Bauer joked.
Because of April snow, May heat and inconsistent June rainfall, this year’s berry season is behind schedule. There won’t be a bumper crop in 2018.
“What do I think about the crop?” Bauer said. “I think we’re probably down to maybe 75 percent of a normal year.”
Berry Pickers Still Flock to Bauer Berry Farm
Despite the delay, berry pickers flocked to Bauer’s farm Monday, looking for those little red gems.
“They just taste good,” said Korine Crawley, who was visiting with a Minneapolis church group.
The pickers performed their version of the strawberry calisthenics – bending, hunching over and squatting throughout the field.
“I had a lot of fun,” Crawley said, “because we like to pick the strawberries.”
The kids on the church outing came away with a bunch of berries and learned plenty in the process.
“When they’re small, they’re not ripe,” Crawley said. “But when they’re medium or large, they’re ripe. You have to make sure the strawberries are red.”
For most youngsters strawberries are nature’s sweet treat.
“It’s a little better than candy but not too much,” Crawley said.
It’s also a chance for them to be outside in the elements soaking up a summer day.
“I like to be in nature,” said Kamdyn Lindsey who was part of the church group. “I’m kind of like a nature boy. I eat strawberries all the time but mostly with whip cream.”
“The idea of being local and participating in your food choices versus just the store choice, that’s become more important in the young families,” Bauer said.
There is not much time left to get strawberries this season. Bauer’s could be closed by July 4.