Strawberry Season: Support Our Local Growers!

— Written By Casey Hancock and last updated by

By: Casey Hancock
Extension Community Resource Development Agent – Local Foods and Tourism
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center

The warmer weather brings the opening of farm stands and the availability of fresh produce. In addition to several types of fruits and vegetables available, strawberries are plentiful throughout the county at various farm stands. According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, our state ranks fourth in the nation in strawberry production with approximately 1,800 acres of strawberries harvested each year; the majority offered directly from the farm to the consumer.

The juicy, red fruit is both delicious and nutritious! The United States Department of Agriculture reports strawberries are the fifth most preferred fresh fruit in the United States due to their abundance of nutrients. A serving of strawberries packs a punch with more vitamin C than a medium-sized orange. The berries are also high in antioxidants, folate, potassium, and fiber. A one-cup serving, about 6-9 berries, has no fat, cholesterol, or sodium, and only 50 calories. Strawberries are great alone as a snack or as an addition to smoothies, salads, and sweets. Strawberries can also be frozen for up to a year or processed into tasty jams and jellies.

When picking or purchasing strawberries, select plump and richly colored red berries. Try to avoid unripe berries that have white or green tips. Also avoid strawberries that are missing green caps, mushy, or showing signs of mold. Fresh strawberries are perishable and should be used as soon as possible to ensure the best taste and texture. If not using immediately, loosely cover berries and refrigerate. Wash the berries just before eating to maintain the natural protective outer layer. Let the berries air dry or gently pat dry with a paper towel and enjoy!

Like any fruit, strawberries taste best when picked fresh. Several studies suggest that most of the food in the United States travels about 1,500 miles before it reaches consumers. Take advantage of the local availability of strawberries and a fresher, tastier flavor while the season lasts! Buy a quart or pick your own flat from several local growers:

Floyd Farms Strawberries
Kenneth Floyd
5043 Stone Road
Fairmont, NC 28340
(910) 740-6151

Bo’s Berry Patch
Bo Stone
2190 Ashpole Church Road
Rowland, NC 28383
(910) 422-8659

Jack Pait Strawberry Farm
Ron Pait
1561 Old Allenton Road
Lumberton, NC 28358
(910) 734-7420

Powers Strawberries and Farmers Market
Mitzi and Jimmy Powers
906 Barker Church Road
Lumberton, NC 28358
(910) 738-9404

Strawberries on Elizabethtown Road (near Food Lion)
Ronny Wilkerson
Highway 41 North
Lumberton, NC 28358
(910) 733-0561
(910) 739-3315

Locklear Farm
Ellery Locklear
9840 Deep Branch Road
Pembroke, NC 28372
(910) 521-4323
(910) 734-4781

For more information, please contact Casey Hancock, Extension Community Resource Development Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at casey_hancock@ncsu.edu, or visit our website at http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/. North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.

Written By

Photo of Casey HancockCasey HancockExtension Agent, Community Resource Development - Local Foods, Tourism (910) 671-3276 (Office) casey_hancock@ncsu.eduRobeson County, North Carolina
Posted on May 19, 2014
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