FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014
Dexter Hill, marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
N.C. strawberry growers expect strong season
RALEIGH – Despite a late cold snap, local strawberry growers are still expecting a strong season that will last into the first part of June.
“It’s been a challenging winter season for strawberry growers, including a record freeze in early January and a late cold snap in April,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Fortunately, growers used a combination of row covers and irrigation to preserve the crop with minimal loss, and we are set for an outstanding season.”
Several growers in the southeastern part of the state started harvesting in mid-April, but the peak of the season should arrive around the second week of May, said Dexter Hill, marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Consumers in the Piedmont can expect to find the largest supply of berries in the second and third weeks of May. Those in the western part of the state should see berries from the middle of May through the first half of June.
There are several special events planned to celebrate the season, including the N.C. Strawberry Festival in Chadbourn, April 30 to May 3. The annual celebration features a parade, scholarship pageant, live music and strawberry quality contests.
Strawberry Day events also will be held May 1 at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, May 2 at the Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax, and May 9 at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Charlotte. The events will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and include strawberry samples for attendees. The Colfax and Raleigh events also will have a strawberry dessert contest.
North Carolina is the fourth-largest producer of strawberries in the nation. One of the many ways to enjoy North Carolina strawberries is to visit a local farm and pick them fresh from the field. Consumers can find a directory of pick-your-own farms at www.ncstrawberry.com/growers.cfm.
Need strawberry pictures? Check out our online gallery.