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Early reviews suggest a good crop of strawberries

Madison Southan and her grandmother Betty Farrell of Brookside eagerly accept a box of freshly picked strawberries from Jeanne Rutledge at the Lorraine strawberry hut on Park Street Wednesday afternoon.
Madison Southan and her grandmother Betty Farrell of Brookside eagerly accept a box of freshly picked strawberries from Jeanne Rutledge at the Lorraine strawberry hut on Park Street Wednesday afternoon.

UPPER ONSLOW, N.S. – All red and shiny and looking lip-smacking good – and Madison Southan couldn’t wait to give them a try.

“I love them. They’re sweet,” the Florenceville, N.B., youngster said, of the freshly picked box of strawberries she held in her hand.

Madison and her grandmother, Betty Farrell of Brookside, had stopped by the strawberry hut on Park Street to purchase a couple of boxes of the luscious-looking berries, which they were told had only picked less than an hour before.

Madison was planning to have her strawberries straight out of a bowl, with just “a little bit” of sugar for that added touch.

Although it is still early in the season, hut owner and Upper Onslow farmer Jim Lorraine said things are looking promising for a good harvest.

Jeanne Rutledge was busy on Wednesday afternoon selling lots of freshly picked strawberries to a steady stream of customers at the Jim Lorraine hut on Park Street. The berries were selling for $5 a box or $4 each for a purchase of two or more.

“It looks like we’re going to have a good crop,” he said, of his 20 acres of berries. “Everything looks great but we don’t have them all in the box yet.”

Lorraine hopes his u-pick operation will be ready to start up this weekend or shortly after, depending on the weather.

Crop farmer Curtis Millen of Great Village has approximately 200 acres of berries to harvest this year. And, like Lorraine, he said the early signs are looking good.

Although the berries were a couple of days late ripening this year, Millen said he’s optimistic of a satisfactory harvest.

“I think the quality is excellent and the crop is good,” he said.

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