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Oregon Berry Harvest in Full Swing

VENETA, Ore. — Oregon’s berry plant harvesting season is in full swing.

The early heat this season caused an abnormally early harvest for some of Stillpoint Farm’s strawberry plants. Tucked under the leaves of their plants, red, ripe strawberries are ready for picking.

“When we’re expecting the really hot weather like we have right now is we let the grass in between the rows grow out, and that way it provides a little bit more shade, a little bit more ways for the strawberries to feel a little more protected,” said Gina Thomas of Stillpoint Farm.

And with the early heat, Stillpoint Farm saw strawberries blossom before June 1 for the first time–ever.

“Usually about June 10 or so is the first we do for u-picking strawberries. That’s the first crop that comes in. This year was May 17, so it was like three weeks early,” Thomas said.

It’s not only the farm’s strawberry plants that are ripe. Raspberries already had the first big harvest of the season, but they’re not done yet.

“We have a heritage variety, so it’s kind of like the strawberries where they have their first big flush of raspberries, which we had a couple weeks ago, and then now we’re waiting for the next big flush,” Thomas said.

And while the strawberries and raspberry plants enjoy a break from the heat with a little bit of shade, the farm’s blueberry plants couldn’t be experiencing a better season.

“The blueberries are doing the best we’ve ever had. We had that warm, and then it went to that cool, drizzly…People come in and go, ‘These are the best blueberries I’ve ever seen’ because they are really big and fat this year and very sweet,” Thomas said.

Until the rain picks up in October, these plants, along with blackberry plants that haven’t started producing fruit just yet, will continue producing plenty of fruit.

Stillpoint Farm will be closed on Saturday due to the nearby Oregon Country Fair.

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