“Berry” Good Crop Ready For Picking

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MUNCY CREEK TOWNSHIP -- This week has been a big one for one strawberry farmer in Lycoming County. An early crop means big business and right now farmers need the weather to help supply meet demand.

Bonnie Mignot and her daughter Christina showed up at the Strawberry Patch near Muncy, their containers empty.

And just like the past twenty years or so, they planned to spend a while picking strawberries, hopefully twenty quarts worth of the red berries.

"This is our best time of the year, favorite," said Bonnie Mignot. "You eat more than you pick."

Over the past few days, this mother and daughter were joined by dozens, maybe hundreds more just like them at Tom Styer Farm and Market. So many strawberry pickers turned out that Styer says the crop has had trouble keeping up.

"We need a day for the berries to catch up. They've been beautiful, a few hot days and there will be lots out there again."

In fact, in nearly 40 years, Styer says Tuesday was the best the farm has ever had. So many people turned out to pick and buy strawberries.

After Tom Styer has had some of the best days he's ever had in his strawberry fields near Muncy, he says the weather still has to cooperate and get extremely warm so the strawberries that have not turned red, can turn red and ripe for the picking.

"You get beautiful days like this. Great for us, not for the berries.  You need really hot days and nights to ripen them real good."

"We're still finding some nice big ones."

Marie Mitchell of Muncy got down to business in the strawberry field, timing it just right to get some ripe, juicy berries for homemade jelly.

"Oh, there's nothing like a jar of homemade jelly or fresh strawberries over ice cream. It's fantastic!"