Summary: Strawberries have already begun popping up at farmers markets in the Eastern part of the state as the warm late winter weather pushed berries to begin blooming a few weeks earlier than normal.
Today’s Topic with Southern Farm Network
- I’ve got good news for strawberry lovers … we are already seeing some early berries arrive in the Eastern part of the state.
- A number of farms are reporting that they have limited quantities of pre-picked berries, while some others have opened or are preparing to open their pick-your-own fields.
- The strawberries have benefitted from those warm spells in late February and March, which has pushed production up by a few weeks.
- Regional agronomist Daniel Overcash recently reported that strawberries in the Piedmont area were about three weeks ahead of schedule.
- That early warm weather can be a blessing, but it can also lead to a lot of extra work for farmers when the weather turns colder or drops below freezing.
- We have seen that over the past couple of weeks. Farmers have had to deploy row crop covers to protect the blooms and berries on nights when the temperatures dipped below freezing. Fortunately, those efforts seemed to have paid off.
- North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation in strawberry production and we grow and harvest around 1,800 acres.
- It’s no secret I am a big strawberry fan, especially when they are part of strawberry shortcake. Haha!
- The N.C. Strawberry Association is sharing some handy tips to help you get the right amount of berries for your recipes.
- A pint basket of strawberries equals 2 and a quarter cups of sliced berries and 2 and a half cups of whole berries.
- A flat of strawberries, which is 8 quarts, weighs about 12 pounds. I think that sounds like just the right amount of berries.
- Be sure to call ahead of check with your local growers’ webpage or social media pages to be sure of availability, especially early and late in the season when supplies can be limited.
- You can find a list of strawberry growers on our Got to Be NC webpage by searching for “strawberries.”