Local berry sellers giddy about this year's strawberry crop

Staff writerJune 14, 2013 

The strawberries are back.

And as local berry purveyors tell it, this year’s crop is the best in years.

“I haven’t seen my fields look this good probably in 10 years,” said Jim Johnson, who owns Johnson’s Berry Farm at 2908 Wiggins Road.

He credits a nice, dry spring, which has brought the organically grown strawberries right on time, starting last week.

“The earliest we ever picked was May 26 and the latest we picked was June 18 as far as starting pick,” he said.

Johnson, who owns the farm with his wife Lisa, sells his wares at a stand at the farm and at the Olympia and Tumwater farmers markets.

Sue Spooner, co-owner of Spooner Berry Farms said she’s looking at probably the best crop of strawberries since 2007. Her crop also went on sale last week.

“They’re bigger,” said Spooner, who owns the farm with her husband, Tim. “There’s just a lot of them out there.”

Her berries are on sale at all the usual outlets, from Centralia to South Seattle, except for the u-pick operation at the farm at 3327 Yelm Highway SE. That starts Tuesday.

Spooner said her crew starts picking at 5 a.m. to get the berries to farm stand shelves, beginning at 8 a.m. at the farm and 9:30 a.m. elsewhere.

Johnson said the strawberries will be available for two more weeks. Raspberries will start arriving around the Fourth of July, followed by marionberries and blackberries.

Spooner said strawberries have little crossover with raspberries at her farm around July 4, because she grows several different varieties of strawberries that ripen at different times.

“This’ll be one of the nicer crops of berries that we’ve had in the last few years,” she said.

Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869 mbatcheldor@ theolympian.com @MattBatcheldor

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