Strawberry season arrives early

EUGENE, Ore. - With the record-dry weather and unseasonably warm temperatures, farmers in the Willamette Valley see strawberry season arriving as much as a month early this year.

"I've had some the last week of May, a few years back, but this is the earliest I can ever remember them coming on as fast," said Annette Pershern, owner of Riverbend Farm in Eugene.

The season usually starts the first or second week of June, but strawberries are already starting to grow.

That means Pershern and her husband, Dick Pershern, have been working around the clock to tend their crop.

"I figured I had a few more weeks to work on it, and do it in my spare time, but there was no spare time this year," said Dick.

"Strawberry plants do well when it's a bit cooler, but right now with the heat, it's gonna be really sugaring up when it gets ripe," said Annette.

The Persherns say they hope to open their strawberry u-pick farm to the public by Memorial Day weekend.

"There's so much to do and I'm sure every other farmer is scrambling too," said Annette.

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