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IT'S BERRY HOT: DeWitt Strawberry Farm shares how they are keeping fruit and customers cool amidst heatwave

Posted at 6:33 AM, Jun 17, 2024
  • For 45 years, Johns Felzke and his family have been selling strawberries to local community.
  • This year, the season started early 10 days early which puts the end of the season right in the middle of a Mid-Michigan Heatwave.
  • Video shows the fruit from the field and how neighbors can safely pick their own during high temperatures.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

The hottest weather of the season is here. I'm your neighborhood reporter, Russell Shellberg, here at Felzke Farms in DeWitt, where it's not just the people that need help staying cool.

It's a fruit that many of our neighbors, like Kiera Stone and her kids, love to eat.

"They taste really sugary and sweet and red."

"I kind of like the sour ones more."

The fruit is also one that John Felzke loves, but on a much larger scale.

"1979 was actually the first year that we harvested, and we started with 4 acres," said Felzke.

Felzke and his family have been growing strawberries in DeWitt for 45 years. This year brings a challenge: an early start to the season and now a mid-Michigan heat wave.

"You've got to keep the fruit picked off the plant as best you can, and you've got to keep water to the plant to keep it cool," said Felzke.

Felzke hopes doing so will make the weather less stressful on the farm and that he won't see too big of a crowd in the middle of the day.

"Don't come out in the heat of the day and bring your family. Be at the swimming pools or somewhere else. Come out and get your work done early. Beat the heat," said Felzke.

To Stone, the reason for being out in the field means much more than just picking fruit a lesson that will last with her kids.

"We were talking on the car ride here, that when we're in the grocery store, we just pop the container in the cart, but these things come from a field, and farmers work really hard. I thought it was really important to see where the food actually comes from," said Stone.

Felzke's "You Pick" hours start at 7 AM and end at noon, ensuring that you and your family beat the heat and still end up with something sweet.

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Russell Shellberg

5:49 PM, Jun 03, 2022

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