Strawberry Season = Hard Work

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- When it comes to strawberries, Earl Bell is pretty much an expert. He's been planting and selling them for more than 40 years. He's been eating even longer than that.

"My mother raised strawberries, and I think she got me started in the strawberry business," Bell said.

Usually, Bell uses a machine to plant the strawberries outside his home near Catawissa. But the machine does not work well in his ground, so this year he did something different. He planted them all by hand.

"So I decided I might as well plant the whole thing myself, then it will be done," Bell said.

The catch? Earl Bell is 87-years-old! He planted nearly 3,000 strawberry plants by hand.

"It took me about a week and two days to get it done," Bell said.

Bell opens up his field for people to come and pick their own strawberries. He lives next to his strawberry patch, so people can come pick them anytime they want, starting next year. He is closed for this season because the strawberries are mostly gone. Even though he is 87 years old, he has no plans to stop and hopes to plant more strawberries by hand next year.

"I feel good. Geisinger is doing a good job keeping me alive," Bell said.

While strawberry picking is done for the season here, Bell is getting ready for his next crop, which is sweet corn.

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