Whidbey produce ripening early

A warm, dry spring is causing fruit crops to ripen early, according to Whidbey Island farmers.

Blueberries, strawberries and other fruit are expected to be harvested around two weeks earlier, according to Linda White, owner of Crescent Harbor Blueberry Farm in Oak Harbor.

While the farm’s famous Patriot variety are typically among the first to ripen each season, the warmth of the spring has caused them to ripen even earlier.

The blues normally peak right after Father’s Day, June 21 this year, but they expect to start picking early, according to White

White said that the last three years, a wet, cold spring delayed the blueberries a little and that this year is very different.

“This year the dry and warm weather has expedited the ripening process,” White said.

Renee Mueller, owner of Bell’s Farm, said that their strawberries will be ripe early as well.

“They’re coming on fast,” Mueller said.