Strawberry farmers work to keep up with high demand

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – A north Iowa farm is struggling to keep up with the high demand for fresh picked strawberries.

Furleigh Fruits and Vegetables Farm is a hot spot this time of year, and folks have been flocking to pick their own strawberries.

“We opened at 7:30 this morning the gates for people picking their own, and closed them at 7:45. Now, that’s the earliest we’ve ever shut the gates,” says Farmer Robert Furleigh.

Furleigh says they never make it through the day before they are picked out.

“We wish, we’d love to sell more strawberries, we just don’t have enough,” he explains.

The cold, long winter along with heavy rains the past few days have been rough on Furleigh’s crops.

“There were some days where it rained and rained and we couldn’t get them picked. Some of them became over ripe, they were ready to pick, then it rained and we couldn’t pick them. They were over ripe. so there’s some loss which, you have to expect almost every year,” Furleigh explains.

Even “ready picked” strawberries have a waiting list of folks anxious to get their hands on farm fresh berries. But, the farm is continuing to work to ramp up production to meet the high demand.

In order to help meet that demand, Furleigh Farms has planted 20,000 more strawberry plants that are expected to be ready for next year’s strawberry picking season.

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