November 23, 2014

Elyria
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It’s a berry, berry fine time.

Strawberry patches ready to be picked
all around the area

Strawberry pie. Strawberry jam. Strawberry shortcake.
It’s definitely strawberry pickin’ time in Lorain County.
And that could not be truer for Melissa Grignon and her two children, Caleb and Julia, of North Ridgeville, who could not wait to fill their buckets with strawberries at the Aufdenkampe Family Farm in Vermilion.
“This is the first time I have gone strawberry picking since I was a kid, and now I am taking my kids,” Grignon said while kneeling down in a patch of strawberries.
Grignon and her friend, Paula Thomas of Avon Lake, chatted back and forth about strawberry recipes.
“I will make strawberry pies,” Thomas said, as her two children, Nathan and Erin, helped her fill her buckets with the sweet berry.
The Aufdenkampe Family Farm was established by Ray Aufdenkampe, 85, on North Ridge Road when his son, Richard Aufdenkampe was a year old. The year was 1946, and the farm has been booming ever since.
“I am the primary farmer now,” Richard said. “But my dad still rides around on the tractor (to watch the crops).”
The Aufdenkampe farm has 3.5 acres dedicated to eight varieties of strawberries. Different types of strawberries are planted to ensure a longer harvest. What used to be a three-week crop can now be extended to about four weeks due to the modern methods, Richard said.
And, the Aufdenkampe Family Farm is not the only strawberry farm in Lorain County that has had a promising growing season.
According to Doug Miller, co-owner of Mike’s Berries, Vegetables and More in LaGrange, this year’s crop on his farm is solid.
“We had the threat of frost a few weeks ago, but we came out strong,” Miller said.
Mike’s Berries, Vegetables and More, which is family owned and operated, is open to the public for the first time this year.
“We have always had gardens, but this is the first year for the public,” Miller said.
For those who can’t wait to get their hands on fresh strawberries, the product will be in full flavor by the end of next week, he said.
And, if the berry could forecast the future, it seems as if growing season is off to a great start in Lorain County.
“It’s an excellent picking season,” Richard said.
Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7155 or metro@chroniclet.com.

WHERE TO GET STRAWBERRIES
* Spiegelberg Orchards
6161 Middle Ridge Road, Lorain
Strawberries will be available next week.
Call (440) 233-6083 for hours.

* Red Wagon Strawberry Farm
16144 S. Boone Road, Columbia Station
You-pick hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weather permitting.
Picked strawberries also available.
(440) 236-5678

* Aufdenkampe Family Farm
3275 North Ridge Road, Vermilion
You-pick hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Picked strawberries also available
(440) 984-3844

* Fitch’s Farm Market
4413 state Route 83, Avon
You-pick hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Picked strawberries also available
(440) 934-6125

* Fair View Meadow Farms
22735 Pitts Road, Wellington
You-pick hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday,
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Picked strawberries also available.
(440) 647-2485

* Mike’s Berries, Vegetables and More
17686 Whitehead Road, LaGrange
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Picked strawberries available.
(440) 355-4927