RALEIGH, N.C. – April signals the start of strawberry season in North Carolina, and local growers are expecting a very good crop that should last through Memorial Day.
“There should be plenty of berries this year despite a wet and cold first quarter in 2019,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We encourage consumers to visit a pick-your-own farm, go to a farmers market or stop by a roadside stand to get the freshest berries available.”
Consumers also can find locally grown strawberries in grocery stores and restaurants by looking for the Got to Be NC logo. The Got to Be NC program is the official state identity program for N.C. agricultural products, and lets consumers know they are buying a product grown, raised, caught or made in North Carolina.
North Carolina is the fourth-largest producer of strawberries in the nation, with about 1,100 acres harvested across the state. Growers have already started picking in Eastern North Carolina. Piedmont growers will begin picking in mid-April and growers in the mountains should start by the first of May. The peak of the season is traditionally Mother’s Day.
The department and the N.C. Strawberry Association will celebrate with two Strawberry Day events in May. The first event is at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh on May 2 and at the Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax on May 3. Both celebrations includes a strawberry recipe contest, ice cream samples and a visit by Suzy Strawberry.
–Dexter Hill, NCDA&CS