Blueberry u-pick has started in most of Langley. (B.C. Blueberry Council)

Blueberry u-pick has started in most of Langley. (B.C. Blueberry Council)

Blueberries ripen as u-pick starts in Langley

The official Blueberry Day is to be held – online – on July 15

Bluberry u-pick is back in session in Langley – but with a number of changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Krause Berry Farms’ u-pick began on Monday, July 13, two days before B.C.’s official Blueberry Day on July 15.

But as with all things, the u-pick season has been changed by the requirements of COVID-19.

Everyone picking berries this year must wear a mask and gloves – including for the short shuttle bus ride between the main Krause farm and Farm 2, where the berry fields are located.

“We’ve done lots of different things in our protocols to ensure they are safe,” said Sandee Krause of Krause Berry Farms.

U-pick is first-come, first served, no outside containers will be allowed, and there will be sanitizing stations. Those picking are asked not to eat any berries so as to avoid touching their mouths and then touching the plants.

Commercial harvesting is also going on at local farms, and u-pick will extend through much of the rest of the summer, according to Alf Krause.

A cooler, damper summer means slower growing and a longer season, while warm weather will mean the berries ripen a bit faster, but late August or early September is likely around the end of the season, Alf said.

The wet weather means things are starting a bit later than last year.

“The berries are coming along nicely right now,” Alf said.

There have been issues, both related to weather and to COVID-19.

The size of the crop looks okay, but might be affected by a lack of pollination related to the wetter-than-normal summer.

Also, farmers are having trouble finding labour for picking crops, Alf said.

Getting foreign and local workers is more difficult this year. People are having trouble travelling to work, others are worried about heading outside and being around others.

Other u-pick options area also opening up around Langley, including Driediger’s Farm and Weller U-Pick Blueberry Farm are also opening or have already opened.

READ MORE: On cooking berry good ideas, from Chef Dez

While u-pick has become more complicated, the province is still planning some celebrations of the berry.

Blueberry Day events will be largely online this year.

GoBlueBC.com will host how-to videos, chef and grower interviews, recipes, and family activities.

There will also be gift-card prizes, and the grand prize is $1,000 in gift cards donated by White Spot and Triple-O’s.

B.C. is a major blueberry production centre, with more than 600 growers, whose farms cover more than 30,000 hectares across the province.

AgricultureFarmingLangley

Just Posted

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Earth Ninja Jocelyn Titus found 3,300 cigarette butts in downtown Aldergrove last weekend. (Special to The Star)
VIDEO: 3,300 cigarette butts picked from downtown Aldergrove

Jocelyn Titus led a cleanup on June 12 and said most were found on Fraser near former Elks Hall

The public is invited to submit suggested questions for our local politicians, for consideration in a future At Your Service feature. Email: editor@langleyadvancetimes.com.
AT YOUR SERVICE: MLAs see feds as partners in SkyTrain to Langley

Q&A: Langley’s MLAs given chance to address the community on a key local issue

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Police closed off 16th Avenue between 232nd and 240th streets in Aldergrove Saturday night at the site of a reported motor vehicle accident. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Police close off 16th Avenue

Fire crews were initially called to a report of a motor vehicle accident

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read