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Enjoy Summer's Sweetness with Minnesota Berries
Minnesota Ag Connection - 07/02/2020

Berry season in Minnesota has arrived. Growers across the state are open for pick-your-own and pre-picked strawberries, and raspberry and blueberry season is right around the corner. You'll also find fresh berries at the farmers' market, grocery store, and farm stands throughout the state.

Berry season is short and sweet, with seasonal availability beginning in southern Minnesota and moving northward. The typical strawberry season is two to three weeks long, but the length of harvest varies from farm to farm depending on varieties planted, weather, and soil type. Mild temperatures in the 70s and 80s extend the season and allow berries to ripen at a steady pace, while excessive heat can cause berries to ripen more quickly and shorten the season.

Because conditions vary from region to region, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) recommends checking with your local patch for information on availability before heading out to the farm. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MDA released Guidance for Minnesota U-Pick Farms (pdf). Keep in mind that each farm is operating under unique and different conditions this season, so please contact the farm before heading out to the patch.

Whether you choose to pick-your-own or buy pre-picked, be sure to choose local berries this season. Search for berry farms using the MDA's Minnesota Grown Directory, online at www.minnesotagrown.com/berries/. You can also order your free printed directory online at https://minnesotagrown.com/pre-order-minnesota-grown-directory/ or call 1-651-201-6469.

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