Every spring for two decades,Scott's Strawberry Farm has been a destination for families wanting to spendingan afternoon picking fresh berries.
Onthe Job this week, we stopped by and spoke with our friend J.D. Scott athis farm in Moneta.
Betweenthe cold temperatures, the extreme heat, and the soaking rain, this seasonhas been a trying time.
"The weather hasplayed a big important role the season this year," Scott says.
Seasons change, and for Scott, the summer growing season can not come soon enough. The blackberries and blueberriesare still a month or so away from being ready. In the meantime, the farm standis stocked.
"We're gettingtomatoes now, squash and spring onions and things of that nature," Scott says.
What typically brings folksout here by the carload is the strawberry picking season, but, Scott says, "They're justgone."
Family outings in the sunny,picturesque setting, which is a springtime destination for thousands of people, havebeen few and far between this year.
"What few that wedo have that's still good, people are picking them, but it takes twice as longto pick a bucket now," Scott says.
To put it bluntly, "Things justdidn't work," he says. And it seems like he can't catch a break.
"This year, we weretwo and half weeks delayed in the opening because of the weather, and thenafter we opened we got into a heat spell, and now we got all thisabundance of rain, which [the strawberries] can't take."
The heavy rain's bad forbusiness. It's too much for the berries,plus it keeps customers away.
Once a strawberry reachesripeness, it needs to be picked.
"We had theberries," Scott says. "In fact, we had a real good crop this year. But if you can't harvestthem timely, then there's nothing you can do."
Strawberries, by thethousands, left rotting on the vine. The money lost is in the tens ofthousands of dollars.
And in more than 20 years ofgrowing strawberries, Scott says he has never seen a season as bad as this.
"We've had wetweather and hot weather, and dry weather," he says, "but you could pretty well make itthrough it. No, I've never had one like this one."