First Latvian strawberries come in

This year has not been easy for farmers – frost, flooding, and drought, sometimes all three, have affected most. The strawberry farm "Zemeņu ieleja" has experienced it all. Still, there will be strawberry yields, as the first berries are already red, Latvian Television reported on June 11.

In the strawberry field in the municipality of Augšdaugava, plants are currently in a variety of stages. For the late varieties, white flowers are just blooming, other berries are already quite plump and some are already red. A week and a half and then a marathon of strawberry picking, selling and eating will begin.

A lot of work has been and will still have to be invested. The soil is dry and hot.

The strawberry grower Skaidrīte Kudiņa told LTV that the strawberry field had been watered throughout the day: “The berries need it when they bloom, that is especially when they need it. Today we resumed watering with a barrel in another field. We have been watering them the whole day.”

“We had floods, spring floods. There we have a blueberry field behind the house. Some had flooded some, but we were digging them out and putting them on the hill, as the water came,” Skaidrīe said.

The blueberries have survived the flood, but the harvest is not likely to be great anyway. The strawberry harvest is big.

Experience has shown that it is difficult to sell large quantities in a short period of time. So the farm will freeze, them, dry them, and make jam.

There are fewer and fewer workers who want to pick strawberries, but the farm asks the buyers themselves to come and pick the berries. There is enough responsiveness, according to strawberry seller Evita Kokina.

“The price is heavily influenced by how many Polish berries are on the market and what the price is for Polish berries.  Some time ago people came to our place and said they were selling our [Latvian] berries, although we don't know those people at all.”

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