Following unseasonable weather, berry season starts in Virginia Beach

Pre-picked berries at The Flip Flop Farmer. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

PUNGO – With a week left in March, Bruce Henley, the Flip Flop Farmer, already had opened his U-pick strawberry fields where New Bridge and Indian River roads meet.

The early start followed unseasonably warm weather capped by a brutal freeze that caused damage to crops around the area, though the extent may not be known until the end of the season, growers have said in recent weeks.

The Flip Flop Farmer’s fields are now open every day, and a number of folks picked there in recent days.

In late March, Henley said he had some losses from the freeze, too, showing some flowers with black centers, a bad sign, but a number of plants were rebounding. Many were in various stages of producing fruit during a recent visit.

A couple of other stands have also opened for U-pick, and more stands likely will be opening in the coming week.

It’s best to follow a favored berry patch on social media or to call before heading out there.

During a late March visit, Farmer Bruce Henley shows a strawberry plant with berries at various stages at The Flip Flop Farmer at Indian River and New Bridge roads. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]
Shown are some of the blooms damaged during the freeze last month. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

© 2017 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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