Strawberry season opens in Michiana

NORTH LIBERTY What's red, full of seeds and sure to put a smile on any hungry kid's face? According to some, it's strawberries. The local you-pick season has officially opened in North Liberty at the Apple Patch on Sycamore Road.

"There are berries that are certainly beginning to ripen, but [there are a lot] more to come," said part owner Sue Dittmar of the Apple Patch.

After a rough winter and a late season frost, some were concerned about the potential for damaged crop. According to the Dittmars, the strawberry plants were able to pull through. They say the heavy snow acted more as an insulator than a threat.

"I think the strawberry plants themselves are pretty tough," said Dittmar. "We're a few days later than what we have been the last few years."

Sunshine helps the berries get that rich, red color, and too much rain can hurt the already juicy fruits.

As for the perfect pick, "just make sure there's no white on the bottom," said 8-year-old Bryce Dittmar.

The strawberry season is a short one, typically lasting just 3-4 weeks.

The Apple Patch is open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Click here for a link to the website.

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