Opening weekend for freshly-picked strawberries in Belleville

Illinois

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Opening weekend for fresh-picked strawberries at Eckert’s in Belleville, just in time for Mother’s Day.

“Ah, the strawberries. We didn’t even know that they had started strawberry season,” said Kelsey Lyles, visitor of Eckert’s. “We tasted some and they are really good.”

The harvest of strawberries comes with its challenges through the season. Last month, Belleville experienced a late-season freeze.

“It really turned out to be a beautiful crop of strawberries,” said Chris Eckert, president of Eckert’s Farm.

Just two weeks ago, snow was blanketing the fields. FOX 2 showed you video of workers harvesting asparagus early due to the now and cold back on April 20.

“We really were worried about the weather a couple of weeks ago,” Eckert said. “And it turned out that we missed a disaster by the skin of our teeth.”

Making today a relief. No longer needing to worry about the crop ready for harvest, but crazy St. Louis weather still playing a role.

“It’s been rainy,” Eckert said. “We need to get some sunshine to (redden) the berries up and get them ripe and get some sugar in them.”

The crop turning out bigger than last year, which is not the only improvement from 2020.

“The biggest difference this year is that we are open,” Eckert said.

If you want to pick your own strawberries, a reservation is required.

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