Food and Farm Showcase: North Windsor Berries

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WINDSOR, N.Y. – Time now for the Food and Farm Showcase in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County.

It’s traditionally strawberry season, so tonight we travel to Windsor where the weather has not been kind to the berries. North Windsor Berries is located on Route 79 and runs a farm stand and u-pick for strawberries, raspberries and, unlike most other u-picks, a large variety of vegetables. Bill and Linda Titus started the operation in 2004, one year after deciding to shut down the dairy farm that had been in Bill’s family since 1931. Bill says the heavy rain and lack of sunshine the last 2 years have produced less flavorful strawberries that are prone to rotting on the wet ground.

However, pickers can also choose from peas, snow peas, beets, onions, leeks, green and yellow beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and about half a dozen different peppers when in season.

“It’s 40% off of retail.  Plus, it gets you out of the city, you get some exercise.  I can’t say you’re going to get sunshine, but maybe.  And it is fresh.  And if you’ve ever eaten fresh anything, and I don’t care what it is, it’s just different and better.”

Titus says that as his initial costs each season have grown, he’s looked to a new crop to sustain his business. In May, he planned the first of three thousand hemp plants he’s experimenting with this year.

“Now, expenses and labor shortages, it’s just getting hard to do something.  So, we’re kind of looking at something different.  I think maybe for a few years there’ll be some money in this hemp.  My vision is that eventually it will get mechanized and it will be just like any other commodity crop grown on a farm, the money won’t be there.  But maybe for a couple of years, it will help.” North Windsor Berries also sells hanging flower baskets and even lets you choose blossoms growing in the field to make a custom bouquet.

The farm both sells and donates produce to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.

Its farm stand and u-pick is open from 10 to 6 Monday through Saturday.

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