Local News

NC strawberry farmers expect healthy crop despite cold winter

Posted April 23, 2014 4:40 p.m. EDT
Updated April 24, 2014 11:13 a.m. EDT

Strawberries left to rot in fields

Despite record winter freezing temperatures and a spring cold snap, strawberry farmers across the state expect a strong growing season.

The optimism is due to a combination of row covers and irrigation that helped preserve strawberry crops, said Steve Troxler, state agriculture commissioner.

"We are set for an outstanding season," he said in a statement Wednesday.

Growers in southeastern North Carolina started harvesting in mid-April, and strawberries should peak by the second week of May, Troxler said. Western North Carolina should see berries from mid-May through the first half of June.

But farmers aren't the only ones looking forward to a successful season in the nation's fourth-largest strawberry producing state. Parades, pageants and contests will celebrate the season, including the N.C. Strawberry Festival in Chadbourn and several "Strawberry Days" across the state. Many local farms also encourage people to visit and pick their own berries fresh from the field.

Here's a list of events for the strawberry season:

  • N.C. Strawberry Festival in Chadbourn, April 30 to May 3
  • Strawberry Day at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, May 1
  • Strawberry Day at the Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax, May 2
  • Strawberry Day at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Charlotte, May 9