Strawberries Need to Be Picked Before it’s Too Late

With sunnier skies in the forecast, it may be the only chance for strawberry farms to harvest before their fruit spoils.

Urka Farms in Manistee County says they only have a week or so to harvest their plump strawberries and the rain has been hindering them.

“Right now it’s at peak production, it’s as good as it’s ever going to get,” says Cary Urka, co-owner of Urka Farms.

Even though they are a few weeks behind schedule, strawberries are plump and ready to be picked in Northern Michigan. “We always say that once it starts, it’s all down hill and it’s a race to the end from there,” says Cary Urka.

The season is looking to be extremely short and quick this year because of the recent rain. “There’s just a little too much rain and they’re not able to pick, so some of the berries do spoil,” says Joy Urka, Owner of Urka Farms.

Urka Farms is a U-Pick and We-Pick farm but has a shortage of labor this year and is really relying on the public to help pick the strawberries. “These berries are very perishable, the U-Pick customers extremely important to us to get the harvest done in a timely fashion,” says Cary Urka.

And it’s even more timely because they only have a week left of harvesting…not many people want to pick in the rain. “We thought it wasn’t going to rain but we were fooled. We came too far to be scared off that easily,” says J and Paul Shereda, picking strawberries.

The strawberries seem to be bigger than usual but the farm says if the 25 acres of strawberries aren’t picked soon, they will just go to waste. “You just hope and say your prayers that there’s going to be some better sunny weather,” says Joy Urka.

The farm says the rain is beginning to set in to the strawberries and cause mold but they still have plenty of good strawberries to be picked. For more information about the farm, visit Urka Farms’ website.