Raleigh, N.C. — The Triangle’s warm weather has led to a lot of plants blooming early this year, including strawberries.
"We started seeing blooms back in January,” said Roger Ball, of Ball’s Produce Farm on Rock Service Station Road in Raleigh.
In his 10 years of farming strawberries, Ball said, he has never seen a crop grow like this.
“They're liking these 50-, 60-degree nights, these 70-degree days. It's strawberry weather,” he said. “We're thinking by the 10th of April we'll be selling strawberries, maybe by the 5th.”
Typically, Ball's produce farm would open for strawberry buyers in late April. An early start to the season is good news for farmers since the weak economy and high gas prices have hurt business the past few years.
“It feels good. We need money coming in, the earlier the better,” Ball said, adding that he isn't sure how long or bountiful the season will be. “We don't know what to expect. We've not experienced a year like this.”