Joan Ticha (kneeling), of Yorkville, seeks out the best strawberries at Walvord Farm Berries in Kansasville Tuesday with assistance from her daughter, Christiane, 15, who is an employee of the farm. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Cold spring delayed start of picking season

By Jason Arndt


The strawberry picking season could come to a close as late as this weekend, according to area strawberry producers, who indicated a cold start led to delayed season.

That season, which normally runs from mid-June through July 4, began around June 21.

Gary Walvoord, who operates Walvoord Farm Berries in Kansasville, blames not only a cold start, but also several days of rain.

He reported there were about 10 rainy day events, but his farm stayed open, even when there were muddy conditions on the field.

“We stayed open, but people generally don’t want to take their cars and walk in their tennis shoes on the field with rainy conditions,” he said.

The wet weather was similar to last year when the area had experienced more than four inches of rain in some rainfall events.

“We still had too much rain, so it has caused some spoilage for us,” said Robyn Walvoord, Gary’s wife.

Robyn, meanwhile, indicates the June 22 opening day saw favorable temperatures.

“Opening day was beautiful, it was a cool and nice breeze,” she said. “We were in a field that had less foliage, so the strawberries (were) a little earlier.”

Unlike 2018, when the area saw heat indices rising above 90 degrees, the 2019 season was much cooler.

Ideally, strawberries thrive in 75-80 degree temperatures and a half-inch of water per week.

Walvoord looks to keep the farm open to customers through the weekend.

At Thompson’s Strawberry Farm, 14000 75th St., Bristol, which opened on June 21, the family-owned farm announced its final day for picking strawberries will be Friday, July 12.

Walvoord, 21632 Plank Road, is open 7 a.m. through 6 p.m. on Thursday. The owners suggest customers call the hotline at 262-878-0488 for picking conditions before venturing out to the farm this weekend.

To read the entire story see the July 11 edition of the Burlington Standard Press or the July 12 editions of the Waterford Post and Westine Report.