With the arrival of spring and warmer weather, strawberry farms are opening for shoppers and, undoubtedly, strawberry lovers are ready for local berries.
“Growers have done a good job protecting the crop from recent cool temperatures and because of their hard work, this year’s strawberry crop looks to be plentiful,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.“In fact, some fields are opening up for pick-your-own guests this weekend.”
Strawberry season typically runs from mid-April through May, although the addition of high-tunnel and greenhouse-grown strawberries in the state has moved up the availability of local berries to March in some locations.
“There are a lot more ways to grow strawberries and we are seeing farmers use greenhouses, high tunnels and other forward-thinking production methods to move up the time when we have fresh, locally grown strawberries,” said Kevin Hardison, horticultural marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
For fun family or group outings, go to the N.C. Strawberry Association’s listing at www.ncstrawberry.com/farm-locator to find a local you-pick strawberry farm and contact information.
Farms open when the strawberries are plentiful enough to create a memorable you-pick experience, Hardison said. Always contact your local grower to verify times and availability of strawberries before you go.
North Carolina ranks fourth nationally in strawberry production, growing 1,100 acres of strawberries annually.
Prepared by NCDA&CS.