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The Sweet Science (And Big Business) Of Strawberry Picking

Strawberry season is in full swing in New Hampshire.

At J&F Farms in Derry, there are buckets filled to the brim with the red, ripe fruit out for customers to buy.

But the farm also gives them the chance to go out into the field and pick their own.

In this audio postcard, NHPR’s Michael Brindley travels to J&F to talk with families and with farm manager Melissa Dolloff about just how many strawberries they sell a day.

“It’s been huge. We’ve been extremely busy,” Dolloff said. “We’re very fortunate to have a great strawberry crop this year.”

Dolloff said strawberry season usually lasts about two and a half to three weeks. They’re at about two weeks into that, she said.

“So hopefully we’ll get another week out of it, if the weather cooperates. Maybe more,” she said.

So, just how many strawberries are we talking?

“We retail anywhere between 150 to 250 quarts a day, depending on weekday, weekend,” she said. “We wholesale to other farms and markets anywhere between 300 to 700 quarts on top of that a day.”

And as for the pick-your-own:

“Anywhere between 500 to 700 pounds going out, maybe less depending on the day, but that’s roughly what’s going out on pick-your-own a day.”

“It’s something they can do that’s not very expensive,” she said. “They can take their family out, make it a family occasion and make memories while doing it.”

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