Strawberry lovers looking for fresh, local berries can expect to find a plentiful supply as the strawberry season gets underway and pick-your-own fields open.
All the strawberry lovers out there will be happy with the news I have to share with them today. It’s officially strawberry season!
The arrival of fresh, local strawberries in Spring typically welcomes the arrival of a new “fresh produce growing season,” so I am always excited to see the berries at farmers markets and grocery stores.
Plus, strawberry shortcake is my favorite dessert and I can confirm that the dessert doesn’t get any better than one made with local strawberries. Trust me, I have tested A LOT.
Strawberry growers are reporting that this year’s crop looks plentiful, and some farms even opened their pick-your-own fields this past weekend.
That’s usually a good sign that enough berries are ripe and ready for consumers.
We rank fourth nationally in strawberry production, with about 1,100 acres grown annually.
Growers are even employing greenhouses, high tunnels and other forward-thinking production methods to extend the season and produce strawberries in March, a month ahead of the typical April through May season.
A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to have had some early North Carolina strawberries from a grower near me and they were delicious.
Extending the season is good news for consumers and growers.
The N.C. Strawberry Association has created a listing of local pick-your-own strawberry farms with the farms’ contact information.
Go to the association’s page at www.ncstrawberry.com and look for the “farm locator” link. Picking strawberries makes a great family activity or group outing.
It’s always best to call ahead to be sure the farm has berries and its fields are open for picking. That can vary week to week and by traffic to the farm.
So, get out and pick some berries or look for local ones at farmers markets and grocery stores where you shop.