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      How is strawberry season looking this summer?

      With summer hopefully approaching, many of us are eager to get out and pick some fresh fruits. Even with the delayed spring, strawberry farmers say the forecast for the berries seems good.

      "The plants look nice," said Dave Pelligrini, owner of Pellegriniâ??s Strawberry Farm in Escanaba. "Everybody I've talked to that has berries, including my cousins in Vulcan, say everything looks good so far."

      Besides growing slow, farmers say the plants are healthy. Last year, extreme heat followed by a blast of cold stunted a lot of perennial crops from growing, cutting profit by almost 50 percent for a lot of farmers. This year that may not be dealing with that issue, however, it has been very moist leaving some farmers to say that too can whither products.

      "You can end up with some rotting problems," Pelligrini said. "They're a pretty tender product, so we would prefer to have some dryer conditions."

      But Pete Maki, owner of Ostaneks Strawberries Farm in Trenery, believes moisture isn't the issue.

      "Not enough sunshine," stated Maki. "Sunshine and warmth is what we need for here."

      The farmers are hopeful berries will blossom by the end of June or early July and ask those vying for a taste to be patient.

      "Should be a crop we did our work," Maki said. "The fields there we just gotta wait for Mother Nature to pop emâ?? out for us."