The recent heat and humidity, combined with the lack of rain, has made it challenging for pick-your-own farms in Connecticut.
In Watertown, the owners of Evergreen Berry Farm have been working hard to irrigate. They have six miles of rows filled with blueberries, black raspberries and red raspberries. The extreme heat forecasted for this weekend will help ripen the berries, but it’s a delicate balance.
“We don’t want them to ripen too fast,” said Cathee Alex, the owner of Evergreen Berry Farm. “Our varieties come in at different stages. We have early-, mid- and late-season varieties, so what we don’t want is all the varieties to ripen at once because of excessive heat. When it’s in moderation, they’ll come in gradually as they’re supposed to and extend our season.”
The heat can also keep visitors at bay.
“When it’s really hazy, hot and humid, it may as well be raining for a pick-your-own. Visitors are unable to come comfortably,” Alex said.
Evergreen Berry Farm is open until 8 p.m. and the owners are encouraging visitors to come in the early morning and late evening. The fields remain more comfortable, plus the berries taste better when picked in cooler temperatures.