Strawberry growers attend a real rush to the “red gold” this year. Some argue that the popularity of pick-your-own has doubled, or even quadrupled.
“It is Saint-Jean all day in the fields,” says Simon Charbonneau farm FraiseBec in the Lanaudière region, for whom the national day is usually the busiest day of the year.
The farmer who grows small fruits on approximately 200 acres says that the number of people showing up for pick-your-own has almost quadrupled.
On the side of David Lemire, owner of the Farm horticultural Gagnon in Trois-Rivières, it is the same story.
“We open early in the morning and around 10 a.m. or 11 a.m., we had strawberries in the fields,” says one who is also the president of the Association of producers of strawberries and raspberries in Quebec.
If the new health measures generated by the COVID-19 have discouraged some producers allowing pick-your-own, this is not the case for Marjoram from the Garden Mount-Red Halte Gourmande.
A lot of families
When the Journal is presented in this farm in the Montérégie Sunday, many families were on-site.
“I don’t know if this is the COVID, so that there is as much of the world, but we are growing since 5 years. The agricultural tourism is of growing interest to people, ” believes the one who took over the family farm.
Ms. Beauregard has had to adapt all the facilities to reduce the risk of spreading.
In the shuttles leading to the fields, banks have been condemned for promoting the estrangement. The playground is open, but a limited number of families can have access to it.
“There’s a lot of families in Montreal who are doing an hour of road to come here. It is now necessary to provide food and enough attractions so that they can spend the whole afternoon here, ” she adds.
Israel Faucher of the Fraisière Faucher in Portneuf, for his part, preferred to avoid this risk.
“For us, the pick-your-own is available, but all the games are closed and the picnic tables have been removed “, he says.
Other producers less fortunate have seen their crops to be affected by the heat wave and the drought of the last few days. It is the case of Jacques Viens, which has lost a third of its production.
“Pick-your-own strawberries this is very very popular for us. The problem is that we didn’t have enough to meet the demand, ” admits him who is the head of the Gardens of Jacques in the Montérégie region.