FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, APRIL 12, 2010
Kevin Hardison, marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
(919) 733-7887, ext. 234
North Carolina strawberries ready to burst onto the scene
RALEIGH -- In addition to helping speed up pollen’s arrival, the warm temperatures have also hastened the arrival of strawberry season, much to the delight of strawberry lovers. The warmer-than-normal weather has brought out blooms more quickly, and growers are anticipating a larger crop this season.
“This year’s crop looks fantastic, and we expect to see ample supplies at farmers markets, roadside stands and grocery stores this season,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We have already seen a few early berries at the Raleigh Farmers Market, but we expect the pace of the season to pick around April 15 for eastern and central North Carolina. In Western North Carolina, shoppers should start seeing good supplies of North Carolina berries around May 1.”
Strawberry season in North Carolina is short, typically running mid-to-late April through May, making their arrival an eagerly anticipated event.
This marks the 14th year that North Carolina schools will be serving North Carolina strawberries on the menu, said Kevin Hardison, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services marketing specialist. Orders are now being taken through the department’s Farm to School program, with deliveries slated for April 26, May 3, May 17 and May 24.
To help consumers find locally grown strawberries, NCDA&CS 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) 733-7887, 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.
To celebrate the sweet deliciousness of strawberries, the following special events and festivals are planned for April and May:
- April 24 -- Strawberry Day at the Southeastern N.C. Farmers Market in Lumberton, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- April 24 -- Cleveland Community Strawberry Festival, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- April 29 -- Strawberry Day at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- May 1 -- N.C. Strawberry Festival in Chadbourn, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- May 7 -- Strawberry Day at the Charlotte Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- May 14 -- Strawberry Day at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation in strawberry production, and berry sales generated more than $20 million in farm receipts in 2008.