No joke: The strange absence of old man winter has strawberries ripe in the field in February.
For only the second time since 1976, the Ambrose Family Farm on Wadmalaw Island has strawberries ready for picking almost two months ahead of schedule. The farm at 2349 Black Pond Lane will be open for u-picking from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and possibly on Sunday (call ahead, 559-0988).
The farms’s berries also are available at Stono Market, 842 Main Road on Johns Island.
Babs Ambrose said there were so many ripe and near-ripe berries when during the severe cold snap in early January that her husband, Pete, made a commitment to save the crop. By frost protection with overhead irrigation, the use of unheated “hoop houses” and unexpected help from mild weather, the crop has managed to grow and thrive through three cold spells.
“We are in full production,” she said. “The secret will be to keep the ripe berries picked so if and when the weather turns cold and/or rainy, we won’t have too many rotting berries on the plants and reduce the vigor of the plant.”