THE North East berry season is now in full swing after a delayed start owing to the cooler weather over recent months.
Stanley's High Grove Berry and Cherry Farm opened for pick-your-own berries on Thursday morning, which was more than a week later than usual.
High Grove Berry and Cherry Farm owner Tony Iaria said the cooler spring weather, which had continued for the first half of December, delayed the season this year.
"The cooler weather delayed the season by eight to 10 days on normal," he said.
"But we have opened for pick-your-own with a bumper crop for most varieties of berries.
"We do expect within a few days everything will ripen up nicely."
Mr Iaria said the above-average spring rainfall this year had been a bonus this season.
"The rain has helped the crops develop nicely," Mr Iaria said.
"The rain has been a positive thing rather than a negative thing."
Mr Iaria said Christmas Eve crowds were able to pick plentiful raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, loganberries and red and black currants.
"Over the next week we'll have boysenberries and cherries ready for picking," he said.
"We'll certainly be picking right through January and possibly even the first week in February.
"We've done a lot of renovations this year with extra lanes, signage and an extended kiosk, which is working better for everyone going by today."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Wooragee-based Beechworth Berries is open daily for pick-your-own strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
Beechworth Berries' strawberry season runs almost year-round with pick-your-own winding up in May.
Tony and Carmelina Iaria and their sons bought High Grove in early 2007 to expand their family farming enterprise.
The Iaria family have a background in horticulture and agriculture and still have farming property in Mount Beauty where they run beef cattle, grow lucerne and have a small-scale chestnut operation.
Tony and Carmelina also bring experience in hospitality running restaurants and a hotel.
High Grove Berry and Cherry Farm, Mount Stanley Road, Stanley, is open daily from 8am, excluding Christmas Day and New Year's Day, during the summer berry season, which usually winds up in late January or early February when the season runs later.
Visit their High Grove Berry and Cherry Farm's Facebook page to see what varieties of berries are available for picking each day.
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