Cruthers Berry Farm’s new owners Tim and Janet Elliott are pleased to announce that berries are expected to be ready for picking the week of July 10. Since their arrival in April, they have planted 3,000 strawberry plants and are eager to begin the season. Their orchard offers five different types of saskatoons as well as raspberries, strawberries, Evans cherries, currants and fresh produce. Janet grew up in Vermilion and has known George Cruthers all her life. From Edmonton, Janet returned to pick berries at Cruthers almost every summer when visiting her parents. According to Tim, 15 years ago they were picking berries at Cruthers when Janet said, ‘It’s so beautiful; it’s like paradise,’ and it stuck with him. “For me, coming from the city it’s like night and day; it’s nice and quiet, I love it!” said Tim. There is 25 years of George’s hard work here and he did a really nice job. He seeded the grass by hand, and maintained everything well,” said Tim. They have added on with the addition of two baby goats and liking them, they plan to eventually get more goats to tend some of the grass. She noted that the orchard is right on the edge of the Town of Vermilion, and they have enjoyed getting to know people as they stop in. Tim and Janet look forward to serving the community and surrounding areas, and hope to expand over the coming years. “George poured his whole life in to the orchard and so we have kept the same name and same phone number. He was here for 25 years and is still our friend so we enjoy when he comes to visit. The bushes are just hanging with fruit, but the berries are not ready yet. We’ve had lots of rain which helps, and they are u-pick, but if required we can pick for people. It has been a lot of work, but it’s been fun! Berry picking can be a family experience with people of all generations taking part,” said Janet. The couple attended a course on berry cultivation with Alberta Agriculture, and they are part of Alberta Farm Fresh. The season will open as soon as the berries are ripe and they encouraged shopping local. Sold by the pound, prices will represent an average from Alberta Farm Fresh and may vary accordingly. For more information, you can call 780-853-4223.