Open Now - 7 days a week! Walk ins welcome, bookings recommended but not essential.

379 Mewburn Park Rd, Maffra

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Strawberries and Floods

We have gotten off to a very wet start at The Berry Dairy -with 2 floods and almost a third in only a matter of three months. We had our first one in the beginning of October, which was originally meant to be our opening date. Luckily this had changed, as our road was completely cut off by water and 75% of our 400 acres went under water -in places up to 5 metres! Part of our patch 2 of strawberries also went under water, but there was minimal losses, around 10%. We were also grateful, as even though it was a flood, prior to this it hadn’t rained for almost 4 months and we were in desperate need of the moisture. Ideally, it wouldn’t have been 170mm of rain in 24 hours, but we definitely weren’t complaining!

The second flood however, was far from ideal. Only two months later in the beginning of December, we had another 120mm of rain in 24 hours. This flood stayed, in the previous flood water came and went in under 48 hours. The second time, ground moisture levels were already saturated along with streams and lakes being at full capacity. The water stayed for over a week, resulting in us again being cut off and having to close our doors for 6 days. This time, we lost around 20% of our strawberry plants and half of our baby blueberry plants. The dairy farm also lost around 20 acres of pasture. 

Then there was a third time! Christmas came along with an unwanted present of more rain! Luckily, not a flood, however, it saturated paddocks again that simply cannot hold anymore moisture, causing further pasture damage and reduced strawberry production. However, my Dad has a saying, and that is you can make money out of mud but not out of dust! And that is true, a flood isn’t great, but it is better than a drought. We are great at keeping positive, and have had so many people through our doors regardless of the less than ideal weather and reduced strawberries.

This is why unfortunately, we are occasionally having strawberry shortages this year. We lost around 30% of our plants, and the plants we do have are experiencing reduced production due to wet weather. We just need some more sun! Sunny days bring lots of berries. We will be open until April, and with the sunny weather we have been having, our plants are doing great. We also are planting another 10,000 strawberry plants this winter to ensure we can keep supplying everyone with delicious strawberries!

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