Get ready for N.C. strawberries
Strawberry lovers can start getting the shortcake ready. The North Carolina strawberry season has geared up in earnest.
“Strawberries were about a week earlier than normal thanks in part to several warm stretches of weather,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
Strawberries began arriving the week of April 14 in the coastal areas, the week of April 21 in the central portion of the state and the week of April 28 in western counties. North Carolina’s strawberry season typically runs through May.
Growers are reporting good pollination in the fields and are anticipating a good crop this season, said Kevin Hardison, marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. That means shoppers should be able to find plenty of berries this season in grocery stores, roadside stands, farmers markets and pick-your-own fields.
To help consumers, the department is again publishing a directory of pick-your-own farms across the state. It can be found online at www.ncfarmfresh.com, or consumers can contact Hardison at (919) 733-7136, ext. 234, to have a copy mailed. In stores, shoppers can look for the Got to Be NC and Goodness Grows in North Carolina logos to identify North Carolina berries and other locally grown commodities.
In celebration of the red berry, a number of special events and festivals are planned for May.
Following is a list of events:
- May 1 – Strawberry Day at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- May 3 –N.C. Strawberry Festival in Chadbourn, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- May 9 – Strawberry Day at the Charlotte Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- May 16 – Strawberry Day at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
North Carolina ranks third in the nation in strawberry production, and berry sales generated $19.4 million in farm receipts in 2006.