Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times
                                Ethan Brady, 12, harvests strawberries at Bell’s Farm in Coupeville. The farm is hosting its third annual Strawberry Daze festival on Saturday and Sunday.

Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times Ethan Brady, 12, harvests strawberries at Bell’s Farm in Coupeville. The farm is hosting its third annual Strawberry Daze festival on Saturday and Sunday.

Bell’s Farm holds celebration of a berry good crop

After two tough strawberry years, Bell’s Farm is finally abundant in the little red berries again. And its annual celebration of all thing strawberry is bigger than ever.

“We figure two days of strawberry fun is better than one,” said Paige Mueller-Flack.

The third iteration of Strawberry Daze is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 29, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Bell’s Farm on West Beach Road.

Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times
                                Mia Ackerman, 16, picks berries in the Bell’s Farm strawberry fields. The farm has had a good harvest this year after two difficult strawberry years.

Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times Mia Ackerman, 16, picks berries in the Bell’s Farm strawberry fields. The farm has had a good harvest this year after two difficult strawberry years.

Local classic rock band Mussel Flats will join the jazz and funk group Cascadia Groove to make up the Saturday musical lineup. On Sunday, the Seattle bluegrass band Dysfunction Junction will take the stage.

In addition to berry picking, there will also be newly added u-cut flowers and produce for sale. Bell’s animals such as Gus the miniature mule and Gandalf the miniature donkey will be featured at the petting zoo, along with animals brought by 4-Hers.

During the farm tour on what Frank Mueller calls the “party bus,” visitors will also get to visit Chester and Louise. The approximately 700-pound pigs have too strong of jaws to be part of the petting zoo, but the “sweet pigs” can enjoy some attention too, Mueller-Flack said.

“They look like hippos out there,” she said with a laugh.

In preparation for the event, local children were hard at work picking berries to sell and for jam. From 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Saturday, the crew is out in the field. They earn 25 cents per pound, said Frank Mueller.

Sebastian Aranguri-Pummer, 14, of Oak Harbor said he thought the job would be good experience before trying to get a “real job” when he turns 15. Caleb Latour, 12, said he was able to convince his mom to let him work when he showed her how much money he could make.

Only the best pickers get to fill pint boxes of whole berries the be sold.

At the event, home-made strawberry jam, bread and pie will be available for purchase. Children of all ages and sizes will have a variety of yard games to choose from as well as a toddler-sized hay maze and hay bowling.

Strawberry Daze will likely continue to grow with plans to put in another strawberry field next year, Mueller said.

“It’s a crazy time for us,” he said, “but we like it.”

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