RALEIGH, N.C. – Strawberry lovers won’t have to wait any longer because N.C. strawberry season is here. Growers in Eastern North Carolina are already harvesting their crop, and growers in the piedmont and mountain regions of the state are slated to begin in the coming weeks.
“Despite unusually cold weather in the first quarter of the year, crop conditions at this point look to be good,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “It may not be a record-breaking year, but there should be plenty of N.C. strawberries for consumers to enjoy.”
North Carolina is the third-largest producer of strawberries in the nation, with about 1,200 acres harvested across the state. The peak of the state’s strawberry season is traditionally Mother’s Day weekend, but locally grown berries should still be available into Memorial Day.
To celebrate the season, the department and N.C. Strawberry Association will hold three Strawberry Day events at state-operated farmers markets in Colfax, Charlotte and Raleigh in May. The first event is at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh on May 3. The celebration includes a strawberry recipe contest, ice cream samples and a visit by Suzy Strawberry. On May 4, the Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax will host its Strawberry Day, which also includes a recipe contest, ice cream samples and a visit by Suzy Strawberry. On May 11, visitors to the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market can enjoy free strawberry ice cream samples.
–Dexter Hill, NCDA&CS