Long Island farm 'tricks' strawberries to peak earlier

The plants grow flowers, rely on bees for pollination and turn into juicy fruit in just a matter of weeks. The whole process of growing strawberries at Catapano Farms in Southold, Long Island, is seeing faster results by taking a concept used in colder climates where seasons are shorter.

Farm owner Dorothy Catapano says that in January the berry plants get covered with a blanket, which tricks them into thinking they're in North or South Carolina. She says they have berries six weeks earlier. Cold frames and woven fabric allows them to get ahead of what would be the normal bloom.

This year's spring cold spell delayed the planting season for many farmers. It's worked as an advantage and disadvantage for the crops.

Catapano says the season is running two weeks late for tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and melons. The cold snap was great for the cold crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and leafy greens.

During a normal growing season, the plants bear plenty of fruit. This typically lasts well through August. They're high in antioxidants, vitamin C and taste delicious.