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Pride of the Wapsi debuts 2018 strawberry crop in Long Grove, Iowa

LONG GROVE, Iowa -- The 2018 strawberry crop is set to start this weekend in Davenport.

"One, two, three, four, five," said Lora Dierickx.

It's counting time at Pride of the Wapsi in Long Grove, Iowa.

"That's going to be a good crop," she continued.

Their green field is starting to reveal fruit.

"The perfect strawberry is red all the way through," she said.

It's just the right color at their Scott County Farm.

"It should drip down your shirt and get on your chin," she continued. "You know what I mean?"

After growing strawberries for 15 years, Lora Dierickx knows a lot about this sensitive crop.

"When it's 90 degrees, the irrigation goes on," she said.

It protects against frost, drought and heat.

"Slow down the ripening process, and cool the berries off," she said.

In Iowa, strawberry season is short, sweet and popular. Strawberries picked on Tuesday, May 29, are selling for $6 per quart at the farm.

Pick-your-own will likely begin by Monday, June 4, 2018.  Call (563) 285-8180 for availability. Information is also available on the Pride of the Wapsi Facebook page and website.

While it might only last a few weeks, strawberry season is often a family tradition.

"People started picking when they were teenagers with their grandparents," she said. "It's just like a part of their life."

These strawberries can weather Iowa's climate and produce fruit from the same plants for years.

"The berries are here, and they're ready to be picked," she concluded.