Strawberries are ready for harvest in Fresno County

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The harvest for this year's strawberry crop is now underway in Fresno County.

Above average rainfall in February delayed harvest by ten days this year but our recent run of mild to warm conditions have the berries ripe and juicy.

"There are many varieties of strawberries and a lot of people don't know that. These are camarosas and the strawberries that grow on the coast are different varieties," said Stacey Grote, Simonian Farms.

In addition to the camarosas, Chandler variety are grown in Fresno County and other parts of the Central Valley.

Both are sweeter but have a shorter shelf life.

California produces almost 90% of strawberries grown in the United States.

In Fresno County, 95 % of the strawberries are grown by farmers from Southeast Asia primarily from Hmong and Laos.

"And it really is a wonderful story because our county is based off people coming here and using agriculture as a way to start their economic journey in the United States," said Kristi Johnson, Fresno County Office of Tourism.

Simonian Farms is just one of 15 stands or farmers markets where you can buy locally grown strawberries in Fresno County in the spring and summer.

"There are many times when we are shopping a grocery store and things are imported in many of our locals don't realize when and how fruit grows," said Grote.

The strawberry harvest in Fresno County kicks off the 16th season of the Fruit Trail.

The annual event showcases the pride and joy of fruits grown in Fresno County.

"About 10 years ago the strawberry growers joined us and so now we have it starting in April. So we are going to have the strawberries lead us in. We are going to get into all the stone fruits and some blueberries," said Johnson.

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California produces almost 90% of strawberries grown in the United States. Reuben Contreras has the story.

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