Strawberries grown through the fall

FRESNO, Calif.

Customers can't get enough of the fresh strawberries. Siong's strawberry stand in Clovis is among the handful of stands still selling berries.

Even Phyllis Swihart of Oklahoma knows Valley-grown strawberries are sweeter than those at the store. "My brother lives in Fresno and we visit him every year and we hit the fruit stand because this is where all the good stuff is."

The Valley strawberry season typically ends in May because of the intense heat, but small farms advisor Michael Yang says the introduction of a newer variety in the last few years - albion - has some growers still producing fruit. "This is going to help them extend their season until fall. So you'll see strawberries, only this variety albion."

The California Strawberry Commission says acreage increased three-percent this year. But it is the central coast crop grown for retailers which saw the increase. The strawberries grown locally over 60 acres are sold at various stands.

The albion variety is just as sweet as the early season strawberries. But again, only a handful of stands will have the berries through summer.

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