WAWAKA — The name is different, but the strawberries will definitely be the same.
Formerly known as LeCount Strawberry Farm, the newly renamed Mast Strawberry Farm thought it was time for a change.
“My husband put so much work into it, he’d like (the name) to reflect it,” Alisha Mast, wife of Trent Mast, said.
Nelson LeCount had owned his strawberry farm for more than 30 years before he asked Mike Mast, Trent’s dad, to buy it.
The family knew LeCount partially because Trent’s sister had worked for him in the summer, and partially because he’s part of them.
“Nelson is distantly related to us,” Alisha said.
The Masts bought the strawberry farming equipment from LeCount in 2013 and ran the strawberry farm from his property until moving operations to their own land last year.
Trent is a third-generation farmer, tilling land his grandpa bought years ago. Alisha and Trent bought the farmhouse on the property two years ago.
“It’s so nice having the strawberries in the backyard,” Alisha said.
Now, Trent and Mike farm together, raising ducks and growing corn, soybeans and of course, strawberries.
“They’re really busy with corn right now,” Alisha said, adding that the challenge in early May been to keep cold temperatures from hurting the strawberries.
“They’re slowly starting to grow,” Alisha said a couple of weeks ago. “Spring has been cold, so they’re not doing a whole lot right now.”
Though the west-side strawberry farm is changing, it still plans to be ready for the season despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Alisha said since the Shipshewana Flea Market was opening, she didn’t see a reason why their farm had to stay closed.
Families coming for strawberries should be able to maintain proper social distancing guidelines at their farm, Alisha said.
Taking all the visitors into consideration, with both people picking their own berries and buying prepackaged, they should still be spread out enough to be safe.
“We’re just planning on doing it the exact same as we’ve always done,” she said.
One of the only changes might be closing the concession stand the Masts started last year, but that’s still being decided.
They plan for their season to start in four to five weeks, completely dependent on when the berries ripen.
The Mast Strawberry Farm is located at 9193 N 125 W, Wawaka.