Sunny, warm weather has the strawberry crop ripening about a week and a half ahead of normal. For example, the North Karelia region of east Finland, should see the first local open field strawberries on sale by the mid-summer weekend. If warm temperatures continue, though, the harvest may be a short one.
Freshly-picked strawberries are likely to be on the menu in many places come the mid-summer weekend.
In North Karelia, the juicy red fruits grown locally under cover have already gone on sale. Some of those in open fields are ripening quickly and likely to be available for consumers next week. Most of the harvest will be picked after the holiday weekend.
Short harvest period
Berry farmer Ismo Ruutiainen says that the pace at which the harvest is coming in is a surprise.
“Buyers will have to be careful not to get left out. If this speed keeps up, the harvest period will be short and the strawberry season could be over by the middle of July,” Ruutiainen warns.
Most pickers will show up to help with the harvest as the bulk of the crop ripens at the start of July. In North Karelia, seasonal berry pickers are expected not only from Finland, but also from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania and Estonia.