COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – Strawberry season is here! And that means jams, pies and shortcakes are on the menu. One local farm opened up its fields on Wednesday for what’s become a tradition for many.
Many people stopped by the strawberry fields at Catalpa Grove Farm in Columbiana for its first day of “Strawberry U-Pick.” From kids to adults, everyone was looking for the perfect berries.
“Most of these are going to be sweet. We try to stay away from the tart ones because most people don’t like those so well,” said Craig Mercer, owner of Catalpa Grove Farm.
Strawberries were the first crop Mercer and his dad planted back in the 1980s. He said the fruit can be hard to grow but it’s tradition.
“It’s something we started with so we always do it, but at the same time, it can have its challenges and stuff. Raising the strawberries. We’ve been having some issues in recent years as far as raising quality plant,” Mercer said.
However, Mercer says the weather has been good, making for some good berries.
Sisters Kensie and Avery Drabison of Austintown say strawberry season is one of their favorites.
“I like to eat them and see if we can do stuff with them,” Kensie said.
“I just like doing… eating the strawberries,” Avery said.
The sisters pick the berries with their grandma and help make homemade freezer jam.
Some of the families we caught up with while they were picking these beautiful berries say this has been a tradition in their families for quite some time.
“We do this every year. I brought these guys ever since they were little. They’re 22 and 18, and I came out here with my parents. We’re from [Pennsylvania] and I came with them since I was little too,” said Terri Denezza of Beaver Falls.
Denezza and her two kids, Nick and Elena, had at least 10 quarts filled. They say Catalpa Grove has a good setup.
“They put all this straw in-between everything and it’s real easy to walk in-between all these rows. It’s clean and the crop is wonderful,” Denezza said.
The Denezzas say they love making sweet memories each year.
The Strawberry U-Pick field is open Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. until noon and on Saturdays until 3 p.m.
The farm suggests calling before to make sure the crop hasn’t been picked out, 330-482-4064.