GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Triad strawberry growers have launched the 2014 season and say they expect successful production this year, despite the 10-day delay from a harsh winter.
Kenneth Rudd and Matthew Rudd, with family-owned Rudd Farm in Greensboro, explained his farm began harvesting and selling last weekend and will be ready to allow the public to pick starting next week. He affirmed regardless of the sub-freezing temperatures this winter, the majority of his crop sustained the cold and yielded high-quality berries.
Rudd said now is the ideal time to harvest ripened strawberries, before May rain and hot temperatures create the potential for damage to the crop. He said he expects the season will end by June.
Prices of strawberries are expected to increase slightly this year across the state, in accord with rising gas and other grocery prices. But, Rudd said he anticipates no decline in demand.
In conjunction with the launch of strawberry season, the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market is hosting Strawberry Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Farmers Building. Manager Rick Cecil said seven to nine strawberry vendors will be in attendance, allowing the public to sample strawberry products from across the Triad. Additionally, the public can participate in a dessert contest, for which desserts and accompanying recipes can be dropped off between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the market office at 2914 Sandy Ridge Road.
Strawberry Fun Facts:
- Strawberries thrive in sunny, cooler (approx. 50 degrees) temperatures, in which they can ripen slower. They can survive in temperatures as low as 10 degrees but are easily damaged in rain and temperatures 90 degrees or warmer.
- After they are picked, strawberries no longer can gain more flavor. For example, picked green strawberries will turn red but will not increase in flavor or size. Berries with the most sugar and flavor are those that already have ripened to a red color on the plant.