Early start to the blueberry season in Sudbury

A roadside blueberry vendor in the south end of Sudbury known as 'Art the blueberry man' tells CTV News he started selling berries on June 22 -- a first in his 50 years in the berry business.

"It's a very funny season," said Arthur Choquette. "The old folks always said if we don't have any snow we don't have any berries. So then we had a very hot and cold spring. So then the berries flowered and then we got frost."

Choquette said there are a lot of other variables this year, from frost impacting the crop to gypsy moth caterpillars wiping out large areas of berries. He said pickers are telling him it's tough going in the blueberry patches.

"That means the season may end two weeks earlier, or it could be a very short season we don't know yet," he said. "Cause certain areas ripen later, so it's a hit-and-miss season."

Choquette said the average price this year at most independent vendors is $35 for a three-litre basket.