IT’S OFFICIAL: Strawberry season has arrived here in NC

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Strawberries at the State Farmers Market (Cover)_30272

Strawberry season has officially arrived, according to a release from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.

According to a press release from the department, growers in Eastern North Carolina have already started harvesting their crops, while growers in the piedmont and the mountains are set to begin in the next few weeks.

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“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.”

Our state is the third-largest producer of strawberries in the nation, with about 1,200 acres harvested across the state, according to the department. 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.

Three state-owned farmers markets — in Raleigh, Charlotte and Colfax — will host “Strawberry Day” events, the release said.

The first event is May 3 at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh. There will be 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 and on May 11, visitors to the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market can enjoy free strawberry ice cream samples.

More information about the strawberry industry is available at www.ncstrawberry.com. Consumers interested in finding a you-pick strawberry farm near them, can go to www.ncfarmfresh.com.

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