Chamber of Agriculture

Whitsun marks the official start of strawberry season

14.05.2024 12:00

Even if the sweet fruits are already available everywhere: The strawberry harvest in Upper Austria officially starts at Whitsun. 70 farming families cultivate strawberries on 279 hectares. Every third strawberry comes from Upper Austria, and there are currently 979 hectares nationwide.

After vegetation began four weeks earlier and the cold snap in April, the ripening of the fruit slowed down again. Farmers have protected their crops with elaborate fleece coverings, explained Andreas Hoffelner, spokesman for the strawberry self-picking farms.

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"The moderate temperatures and rainfall at the beginning of May are generally very beneficial for strawberry cultivation, which has a positive effect on fruit size and quality. We are therefore hoping for a good harvest over as many weeks as possible"

Andreas Hoffelner, Sprecher der Erdbeer-Selbstpflückebetriebe

Harvesting will begin from Whitsun, and in higher altitudes probably not until the beginning of June.

Coordination through purchasing behavior
"Consumers vote every day with their purchasing behavior on which type of strawberry production is promoted," emphasized Ernst Aschauer, spokesperson for the strawberry LEH suppliers' specialist group. The high wage and, above all, non-wage labor costs, which are 25 percent higher than in Germany, for example, are a constant problem for domestic production.

Ecologically and socially responsible production
"In contrast to some imported goods, our local strawberries are produced in an ecologically and socially responsible way, and all consumers should know that," said Aschauer, promoting the fruit. Ferstl emphasized that the strawberry "consists of 90 percent water and contains many minerals, especially potassium", thus promising healthy enjoyment all round.

How to keep the fruit fresh for longer
The experts advise that strawberries should always be harvested with the stem and calyx so that they stay fresh for longer. The fruit should be picked as close to the time of consumption or processing as possible and only washed immediately beforehand.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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