Berry season off to an up and down start

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • It’s been an interesting start to the berry picking season this year after all the wet weather this spring. Left: Strawberries from Barrett Hill Farm in Mason.Staff photo by Meghan Pierce Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Strawberry picking at Barrett Hill Farm in Mason Saturday, June 29, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/8/2019 9:20:33 PM

The berry picking season is off to a challenging start for some farms in the Monadnock Region as crops are suffering from the fluctuating weather, but the local farmers are staying hopeful.

With the late winter and recent heavy rainfall, plants were flooded with water which can damage roots, especially when frozen. At Rosaly’s Garden and Farmstand in Peterborough, the raspberry plants barely pulled through.

“It’s a bit of a waiting game,” Rosaly’s farmer Stacey Hannings said. “The raspberries are struggling from the weather, but the plants are healthy overall.”

The summer still looks promising for Rosaly’s as the 300 additional blueberry plants that were added last fall are looking fruitful and healthy. According to Hannings, the farm is on track for a more successful season than last year.

“We’re very hopeful,” she said. “Some people show up and say they’ve never been here before, and when they see how many blueberries we have they usually end up coming back.”

For other farms, this summer has been even more of an uphill battle. Tenney Farm in Bennington had to say goodbye to their entire strawberry crop as a result of the frequent rainfall.

“It was a two-pronged issue,” farm owner Christa Salamy said. “Since we’re next to the Contoocook River, the farm can flood easily. We lost half of the strawberries from that and the other half from a fungus that grew in the non-flooded area.”

While they were hoping to have strawberry picking available for the Fourth of July, Tenney Farm is still optimistic.

“We still have peas, and our raspberries are looking great,” Salamy said.

Though the rain has been a detriment for many farms, Barrett Hill Farm in Mason has avoided any trouble from it. Being located on a hill has allowed for the heavy rainfall to drain down, preventing any flooding from damaging the crops.

“The last couple of years we’ve been hit with harsh winters,” farm owner Beth LeClair said. “With the rain we got a chance to recover from any root damage from prior years.”

With blueberries and raspberries also available to pick, LeClair looks forward to a long season with her husband Matthew, co-owner and full-time worker on the farm.

“I think sometimes farming is a really hard life to live,” LeClair said. “This just gives us hope.”


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