Out With The Old

When the Labrador Institute acquired the Pye Farm in 2019, we inherited the bountiful, and beloved, strawberry field that had long been a staple of Frank and Joyce Pye’s operations. But, most strawberry fields are productive for only 3 to 5 years. So, in the Fall of 2020, it was time for that generation of strawberry plants to retire, after many years of providing us with delicious berries. The plants were tilled back into the soil to help mitigate weed regrowth, and the field was prepared to receive new seedlings.

Preparing the field

In With The New

Fast-forward a year later to Spring 2021: On June 18th, with the sun shining, a warm breeze, birds singing, and an eager crew, there couldn’t have been a better day to plant a new generation of strawberry plants at the Pye Farm!

After a long week of waiting for good weather, our team was ready to bring the new strawberry plants to the site and get our hands dirty. Five long rows were prepared, mulched, and covered in plastic with the use of a tractor. The plastic covering will prevent the growth of weeds, regulate temperature, and retain water.

Preparing to plant

Transplanting the strawberry seedlings

More planting!

But, our team, consisting of 7 staff and one incredible volunteer, bonded as we hand-planted 2500 strawberry plants from 9am-6pm. We worked under the leadership of the Pye Centre’s Resident Farmer, Lem Seaward, who was generous with his wisdom, and patient with those of us who were first-time strawberry-planters!

If all goes well, this will be the start of strawberry fields forever…or at least for the next 3-5 years, when we will do it all over again!

Stay tuned for updates on this new generation of strawberries at the Pye Farm: we will keep you posted as to how they’re growing, and will let you know when the berries are ready for picking once again.

Happy faces for a job well done!

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    1. Not this year, unfortunately! They will still need some time to grow. Stay tuned for updates!


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