SUMMERFIELD, N.C. — Strawberry season is now underway in North Carolina and families across the state are eager to pick the summer crop.
One Triad farm is selling berries with a purpose.
Volunteers and workers at Freedom House Farm in Summerfield have been hard at work preparing for it’s second strawberry picking season.
“So, the days start pretty early, with five acres of berries there is definitely a lot of work to do,” Operations Director Stephen Farrell said.
In just seven to ten days the farm will be open to the public.
Farrell said he’s ready.
“During the last harvest I was amazed at the passion behind strawberries,” Farrell said.
“We would have people lining up two and a half hours before the stand opening to get a bucket of one five-pound bucket of strawberries.”
Inside each bucket is more than just the ripe-juicy fruit.
Each bucket of strawberries purchased helps to grow the Freedom House Recovery Program.
The Freedom House Recovery Program is a two-year residential program that helps women recovering from addiction.
“Freedom House provides one year of intense treatment and then a year of aftercare,” Farrell explained.
“During the second semester of that first year of treatment, the women’s children can actually come live with them during treatment.”
Farrell said the program is just one of a few in the country that allows children to live with their mother as they work to overcome their addiction.
“The kids have been in and out of the women’s lives most of their life,” Farrell said.
“So, to be able to have that stability while the mother is going through treatment is really important and makes us very unique.”
Last season the farm gained nearly $50,000 in revenue from the strawberries.
This year it’s hoping to exceed that goal with $500,000 in hopes of housing more women in the program.
“It’s something that’s really magical and miraculous that happens out here,” Farrell said.
“We want people to come out and not only come to buy berries, but to spend time on the land and find out what the Lord is doing out here at Freedom House.”
Freedom House Farm is located off U.S.158 in Summerfield.
The recovery program was created 15 years ago, and the farm was started just three years ago.
In addition to strawberries, people will be able to pick blueberries, tomatoes, blackberries and much more.
Once the farm opens for picking there will be a drive-through option as well as a U-Pick option.