Blueberry Business Booming

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NEW MILFORD -- It is a "berry" merry month for some blueberry farms in Susquehanna County. The bushes are overflowing with blueberries at Hilltop Berry Farm in Susquehanna County.  The abundance of berries is a welcome sight for owners, who say last season was more than rough.

"Last year we had a lot of hail damage. We had a couple hail storms that damaged the crop, and this year we haven`t had any hail storms so it`s been great," said Adriana Smith of Hilltop Berry Farm.

The owners of the farm near New Milford say that less than 20% of last year's crop could be salvaged, but this season the berry business is booming.

Teresa Perrini and Terri Koziell of Lake Ariel stop by Hilltop Berry Farm a few times every summer, taking home more than a hundred pounds of berries each trip.

"We eat them, we pie them, we drink them and we give a lot away.  We just give a lot away to friends and family, we make pies and give them away, make jam and give that away," said Koziell.

"Picking is easy.  I`ve never seen bunches the size of grapes before and we enjoy coming," said Perrini.

With the help of an irrigation system, the heat has actually helped the berries and they're perfect for the picking, weeks ahead of schedule.

"Irrigation is a key to the size, but the heat has definitely made them come on a lot quicker.  They`re much more plentiful and very quick," said Smith.

The heat has also made this crop a little sweeter than usual, something many pickers welcome.

"Being in the garden business I've realized that there`s other plants suffering and these are flourishing so it`s nice to see," said Kristin Emmet of Damascus.

"This is a little piece of heaven.  This farm is wonderful. The berries are excellent. It`s not like anything you find in the store," said Koziell

The blueberries are expected to thrive through the end of August, leaving plenty of time for pickers to enjoy this bountiful season.