Devinder Maan of Maan Farms says strawberries are quickly ripening now after winter had pushed back the early harvests seen in recent years. Photo: Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News

VIDEO: Strawberry season returns in Fraser Valley

After early harvests in recent years, winter pushed crops back to June

Strawberry season has begun.

In recent years, warm springs have accelerated berry growth and brought the first harvests into late May. This year, though, a snowy winter and cool spring has pushed harvests of the first berry crop back, growers say.

Pickers were out harvesting fruit this week and those berries are now for sale at local berry operations.

Although the winter’s cold has slowed the growth, the recent weather – with temperatures pushing into the high-20s – have given the crops a final push, Devinder Maan of Maan Farms said.

After picking for their own operation throughout this week, the Vye Road farm will be opening its U-pick field on Friday.

“The last two days have been lots of heat, so it’s definitely helping the farmers,” Maan said. “It’s going well, definitely the weather is helping us. It’s on our side.”

Dan Neufeld, who operates Neufeld farms, said he had been worried that the spring’s overcast skies and rain would lead to a less-than-optimal crop. That hasn’t been the case, though.

“We’re pleasantly surprised they’re doing as well as they have been because the weather was suspect,” he said.