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Get up and get agrarian

Ron and Renee Markley, new arrivals to Sequim, check in their freshly picked berries with Sidney Cameron at Cameron Farms. The Markleys were introduced to one of Sequim's signature summer pleasures by their friend Cindy Besler. Sequim Gazette photo by Mark Couhig

The strawberries are ready!

A cold spring delayed the opening of Sequim's U-pick strawberry fields, but they?re now ready for business.

At Graysmarsh Farm, thousands of strawberry plants are loaded down with tens of thousands of ripe, sweet berries.

Pick-your-own is a popular summer pastime here in Sequim and draws in hundreds of visitors from out of town, including Cami Sebastian, a mom from the southern area of the peninsula who arrived with daughters Silja and Cami on Thursday, June 23, to gather berries and to enjoy a beautiful day in the glorious wide-open spaces.

"I come here many times a year," Sebastian said, saying the drive up is well worth it because at Graysmarsh "There's so many strawberries."

Alida Abbott had come all the way from Olympia to pick up Josh Funk from Sequim (her nephew) and to pick strawberries.

Sue Jones, who operates the U-pick stand at Graysmarsh, said despite the late start of the season, so far business has been good. "But once school is out it's always good," she said.

Jones said the berries may be a little smaller this year, "but they have a sweetness you wouldn't expect."

She said the fields of Puget Reliant strawberries are now open and expected the Hood strawberries to be made available within a few days.

Sidney Cameron was working the booth at Cameron Farms. She said, "We can always use more pickers," but wasn?t disappointed by the turnout so far. Because of the cold, they opened a week late, and "The plants are a little smaller" this year, but she's "happy we have berries."

She also noted, "When we get a sunny day they turn red - like they've been waiting on it."

Both farms now are open seven days a week.

Reach Mark Couhig at mcouhig@sequimgazette.com.

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