Strawberry growers say season is off to a berry-good start
Both Spooner Berry Farms and Johnson Berry Farms started selling strawberries this week. Johnson’s stand on Wiggins Road opens at 8:30 a.m. each day and Spooner’s Yelm Highway stand opens at 8 a.m.
“This is probably one of our best strawberry crops that we’ve had in probably 10 or 15 years,” owner Sue Spooner said. “They’re an unbelievably good size, incredibly sweet.”
The season is short and the popular berries tend to go quickly. Larry Thielen, a Spooner’s Farm coordinator, said their stands will have strawberries through the end of June, which is typical for the season. But as strawberry season comes to an end, the farm’s other berries ripen and raspberries, marionberries and blackberries will be available come July.
But there is bad news for people who like to pick their own strawberries: Spooner Farms will not host their annual U-Pick this summer because they are replanting their fields. But Thielen said the popular activity would be back in 2020.
For disappointed kids and adults, Spooners is still offering a chance for locals to get their hands dirty and pick their own berries: There will be a blueberry U-Pick at the beginning of August.
Both Spooners and Johnsons pick fresh berries daily and sell each day until there are no berries left.
As a week of hot weather descends on the area, the growers are expecting even more demand for strawberries. Johnson’s stand on Wiggins Road already had sold out by 11:30 a.m. Monday, according to a voice message.
“We start picking at 5 in the morning, so when you come out and buy berries, you are guaranteed 100 percent that those berries were picked that day,” Spooner said.
Thielen said he expects Spooner stands to have strawberries until about 3 or 4 p.m. each day this week, but as the season continues, he expects the Yelm Highway location will sell until 6 p.m. most days.
Spooner Farms has open locations on Yelm Highway and on Harrison Avenue in west Olympia, as well as in Seattle, Aberdeen and Shelton. The rest of their eight locations will open by Tuesday, according to Thielen.
Johnson’s berry stand on Wiggins Road is open and their berry jams can be bought at the Olympia Farmers Market, as well as Pike Place Market, Puyallup Farmers Market and Ballard Farmers Market.