The arrival of spring means locally-grown strawberries are ready to be picked in North Carolina (N.C.).
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler discusses what consumers can expect from this year’s crop.
“Growers have done a good job protecting the crop from recent cool temperatures and because of their hard work, this year’s strawberry crop looks to be plentiful,” said Troxler.
Strawberry season in North Carolina usually lasts from mid-April through May, though the addition of high-tunnel and greenhouse-grown strawberries in the state has moved up the availability of local berries to March in some locations.
“There are a lot more ways to grow strawberries, and we are seeing farmers use greenhouses, high tunnels and other forward-thinking production methods to move up the time when we have fresh, locally-grown strawberries,” said Kevin Hardison, horticultural marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
For fun family or group outings, go to the N.C. Strawberry Association’s listing at www.ncstrawberry.com/farm-locator. Farms open when the strawberries are plentiful enough to create a memorable you-pick experience, Hardison said. Always contact local growers to verify times and availability of strawberries before heading to the farm.
North Carolina ranks fourth nationally in strawberry production, growing 1,100 acres of strawberries annually.