Cold, wet weather delays Hamilton-area strawberry season

News Jun 10, 2019 by Mike Pearson Hamilton Community News

A cold, wet summer has delayed some staple items at local farmers markets, with strawberries perhaps the most notable example.

The challenging growing season has held back the strawberries at Lindley's Farm and Market in Ancaster by about two weeks, with pick-your-own berries tentatively slated to be ready around June 20.

Farmer Joe Lindley said only Mother Nature can tell exactly when the berries will be available.

"It's just so hard to know," he said on June 7.

On a good year, the Lindley's market would have pre-picked and pick-your-own berries available by now. Other field crops, like broccoli have been delayed by the cold and rain this year as well.

"That's not good for the farmers, because it shortens your growing season," said Lindley.

Lindley's market delayed its customary May opening this year, beginning the season June 7, with a selection of local lettuce, radishes, rhubarb and other greenhouse crops.

The market is now open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 900 Fiddlers Green Rd.

Dry sunny weather on June 6 and 7 provides some reason for optimism and Lindley is keeping his fingers crossed.

"Who would have predicted that we would have six weeks of continuously poor weather," Lindley said.

In the Niagara Region at Fenwick Berry Farm, the strawberries are also about two weeks behind schedule.

Fenwick sells produce at several farmers markets in the Hamilton area, including Winona, Waterdown, Ancaster and Dundas.

Farmer Christine Klyn-Hesselink said although the berries aren't as plentiful as they have been in some years, staff still managed to bring some to the inaugural Dundas Farmers Market on June 6.

"It certainly has been a challenging spring," Klyn-Hesselink said. "We're so dependent on the weather. Everything's growing, but very slowly."

Pre-picked berries are normally available by Victoria Day weekend. And while there are some berries on the farm as of June 7, they're the berries farm staff should have been able to pick about two weeks earlier.

"Because it's been so cool and wet, they're growing, but they're just growing very slowly and ripening very slowly," said Klyn-Hesselink.

On the plus side, the farm hasn't seen any extreme temperature fluctuations or storm-related crop damage at this point.

A smaller-than-usual contingent of vendors was on hand for the first Winona Farmers Market June 4 at St. John's Anglican Church.

Nikki Kalas, of Kalas Family Farm in Beamsville, had a smattering of leafy greens, herbs like rosemary, and vegetable items like bok choy available.

"We're at least two weeks behind," said Kalas. "We're hoping that the weather warms up and stays warm."

Jeff Beattie, who was representing his greenhouse business, Winona Gardens, said although greenhouse crops aren't directly impacted by the weather, his field crops like ornamental corn and pumpkins are behind schedule.

"We still have faith that we will get it in the ground," he said on June 4.

Cold, wet weather delays Hamilton-area strawberry season

Farmer Joe Lindley said only Mother Nature can tell exactly when the berries will be available.

News Jun 10, 2019 by Mike Pearson Hamilton Community News

A cold, wet summer has delayed some staple items at local farmers markets, with strawberries perhaps the most notable example.

The challenging growing season has held back the strawberries at Lindley's Farm and Market in Ancaster by about two weeks, with pick-your-own berries tentatively slated to be ready around June 20.

Farmer Joe Lindley said only Mother Nature can tell exactly when the berries will be available.

"It's just so hard to know," he said on June 7.

On a good year, the Lindley's market would have pre-picked and pick-your-own berries available by now. Other field crops, like broccoli have been delayed by the cold and rain this year as well.

"That's not good for the farmers, because it shortens your growing season," said Lindley.

Lindley's market delayed its customary May opening this year, beginning the season June 7, with a selection of local lettuce, radishes, rhubarb and other greenhouse crops.

The market is now open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 900 Fiddlers Green Rd.

Dry sunny weather on June 6 and 7 provides some reason for optimism and Lindley is keeping his fingers crossed.

"Who would have predicted that we would have six weeks of continuously poor weather," Lindley said.

In the Niagara Region at Fenwick Berry Farm, the strawberries are also about two weeks behind schedule.

Fenwick sells produce at several farmers markets in the Hamilton area, including Winona, Waterdown, Ancaster and Dundas.

Farmer Christine Klyn-Hesselink said although the berries aren't as plentiful as they have been in some years, staff still managed to bring some to the inaugural Dundas Farmers Market on June 6.

"It certainly has been a challenging spring," Klyn-Hesselink said. "We're so dependent on the weather. Everything's growing, but very slowly."

Pre-picked berries are normally available by Victoria Day weekend. And while there are some berries on the farm as of June 7, they're the berries farm staff should have been able to pick about two weeks earlier.

"Because it's been so cool and wet, they're growing, but they're just growing very slowly and ripening very slowly," said Klyn-Hesselink.

On the plus side, the farm hasn't seen any extreme temperature fluctuations or storm-related crop damage at this point.

A smaller-than-usual contingent of vendors was on hand for the first Winona Farmers Market June 4 at St. John's Anglican Church.

Nikki Kalas, of Kalas Family Farm in Beamsville, had a smattering of leafy greens, herbs like rosemary, and vegetable items like bok choy available.

"We're at least two weeks behind," said Kalas. "We're hoping that the weather warms up and stays warm."

Jeff Beattie, who was representing his greenhouse business, Winona Gardens, said although greenhouse crops aren't directly impacted by the weather, his field crops like ornamental corn and pumpkins are behind schedule.

"We still have faith that we will get it in the ground," he said on June 4.

Cold, wet weather delays Hamilton-area strawberry season

Farmer Joe Lindley said only Mother Nature can tell exactly when the berries will be available.

News Jun 10, 2019 by Mike Pearson Hamilton Community News

A cold, wet summer has delayed some staple items at local farmers markets, with strawberries perhaps the most notable example.

The challenging growing season has held back the strawberries at Lindley's Farm and Market in Ancaster by about two weeks, with pick-your-own berries tentatively slated to be ready around June 20.

Farmer Joe Lindley said only Mother Nature can tell exactly when the berries will be available.

"It's just so hard to know," he said on June 7.

On a good year, the Lindley's market would have pre-picked and pick-your-own berries available by now. Other field crops, like broccoli have been delayed by the cold and rain this year as well.

"That's not good for the farmers, because it shortens your growing season," said Lindley.

Lindley's market delayed its customary May opening this year, beginning the season June 7, with a selection of local lettuce, radishes, rhubarb and other greenhouse crops.

The market is now open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 900 Fiddlers Green Rd.

Dry sunny weather on June 6 and 7 provides some reason for optimism and Lindley is keeping his fingers crossed.

"Who would have predicted that we would have six weeks of continuously poor weather," Lindley said.

In the Niagara Region at Fenwick Berry Farm, the strawberries are also about two weeks behind schedule.

Fenwick sells produce at several farmers markets in the Hamilton area, including Winona, Waterdown, Ancaster and Dundas.

Farmer Christine Klyn-Hesselink said although the berries aren't as plentiful as they have been in some years, staff still managed to bring some to the inaugural Dundas Farmers Market on June 6.

"It certainly has been a challenging spring," Klyn-Hesselink said. "We're so dependent on the weather. Everything's growing, but very slowly."

Pre-picked berries are normally available by Victoria Day weekend. And while there are some berries on the farm as of June 7, they're the berries farm staff should have been able to pick about two weeks earlier.

"Because it's been so cool and wet, they're growing, but they're just growing very slowly and ripening very slowly," said Klyn-Hesselink.

On the plus side, the farm hasn't seen any extreme temperature fluctuations or storm-related crop damage at this point.

A smaller-than-usual contingent of vendors was on hand for the first Winona Farmers Market June 4 at St. John's Anglican Church.

Nikki Kalas, of Kalas Family Farm in Beamsville, had a smattering of leafy greens, herbs like rosemary, and vegetable items like bok choy available.

"We're at least two weeks behind," said Kalas. "We're hoping that the weather warms up and stays warm."

Jeff Beattie, who was representing his greenhouse business, Winona Gardens, said although greenhouse crops aren't directly impacted by the weather, his field crops like ornamental corn and pumpkins are behind schedule.

"We still have faith that we will get it in the ground," he said on June 4.