CHESTERLAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “The berries look beautiful,” Nancy Patterson of Patterson Fruit Farm told visitors at the strawberry picking fields on Mulberry Road in Chesterland.
Sixth generation farmer Bill Patterson said there are a lot of people who have it worse, but “we’ve had enough” of the rain.
Since 1971 the farm has been open to guests who want to pick their own fruit.
“Amazingly enough because it has been cool the strawberries have held their own,” Nancy Patterson said. “Hot weather would make them spoil.”
Visitors like Annie Harstein and her two children weren’t going to get distracted by a little mud.
“They had so much fun, even in the gloomy weather,” Harstein said. “They wanted to eat them more than pick them, but that’s normal.”
And that’s exactly what Bill Patterson wants. “This is a family based event now,” Patterson said.
Believe it or not, when the farm first let people onto the property to pick their own fruit there was a question whether children should be allowed in the fields.
Now, 48 years later, three quarters of the guests are families “making memories” Patterson told 19 News.
Nancy Patterson told 19 News she had witnessed an evolution in who comes out to pick. In earlier decades people who came out would pick 80 to 90 pounds, today they may pick five pounds but they bring their children.
“People are coming out for the experience,” Nancy Patterson said.
Bill Patterson said people are really concerned about their food today. “They want to know where it comes from,” Patterson said.
The season for strawberries is running a little late Nancy Patterson said. The season should last until July 3 according to Patterson.
While everything looks good so far, Bill Patterson did admit he is done with the rain, and has some concerns for his upcoming apple season.
“We anticipate we’re going to be okay with the rain, but at some point it has to stop,” Bill Patterson said, echoing the feeling of most people in Northeast Ohio.