Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
Last year, North Carolina’s strawberry season got off to a late start because of the weather. This year, growers have been able to get an early start despite a recent cold snap. In fact, many growers in the eastern part of the state started picking berries nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.
North Carolina strawberry farmers are very experienced in dealing with late frosts and know how to protect their crops, Commissioner Troxler says.
Some you-pick farms have been open since April 1, and growers across the state report having a good crop this year. The majority of growers in the eastern part of the state have strawberries available now. In the Piedmont, you can expect strawberries by the last week of April. Western growers should have strawberries available by the first week of May.
The NCDA&CS maintains a database of strawberry growers, roadside stands and farmers markets that carry strawberries at www.ncfarmfresh.com.
North Carolina is the fourth-largest producer of strawberries in the country, with growers harvesting more than 14 million pounds of strawberries in 2015.
Strawberry Days scheduled at each of the four state-operated farmers markets
Strawberry Days will be held at the Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax on May 6; the State Farmers Market in Raleigh on May 12; the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Charlotte on May 20; and the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville on May 27. Each event runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and features free samples of strawberry ice cream, plenty of fresh local strawberries for sale and a visit from Suzy Strawberry.
To listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the 2016 strawberry season, click on the audio player below.
[Audio:/wp-content/uploads/Troxler_4-19-16.mp3|titles=Today’s Topic for April 19]
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