Strawberries, fun for the pickin' at a farm near you
by Georgia Farm Bureau, Special to The Newnan Times-Herald
For many Georgians, one of the rites of spring is visiting a local farm and picking strawberries.
At some Georgia farms, the 2013 crop was a little later arriving than in 2012, but at dozens of pick-your-own farms across Georgia, the berries and the on-farm fun were ripe for the picking at the end of April.
“There’s a nice number of strawberries out there,” said Jake Carter of Southern Belle Farm in Henry County. “We anticipate having a good few weeks of picking.”
A trip to one of 31 Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets that offer strawberries is the only first-hand experience many consumers get on the farm, and the strawberries aren’t the only attraction. Many farms offer petting zoos and other outside activities, along with other farm products like fresh vegetables, jams and jellies and much more.
“Spending time out on the farm has become a family event for a lot of people,” Carter said. “We try to have a good mix of things to do.”
Many of the certified farm markets also provide educational experiences for school groups and other organizations. Carter said nearly 7,000 students are scheduled to visit Southern Belle this spring to learn about how farms operate, and similar programs are available at other farms around the state.
Strawberries are fat free and contain lots of potassium, fiber and folic acid. According to the Georgia Strawberry Growers Association, eight medium-size strawberries contain 160 percent of the USDA’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
Peak harvest time for strawberries typically runs into June but consumers should call ahead for availability.
“With all the experiences and products available, visits to strawberry you-pick markets offer consumers a great value,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “The strawberries are delicious and people get to see some of what happens on a farm.”
GFB’s 2013 Certified Farm Markets brochures are now available, providing location and contact information for the markets.
For more information about Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets, including a listing of markets in various areas of the state, visit http://www.gfb.org/commodities/cfm/default.html .
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization and has 158 county offices.
Its volunteer members actively participate in local, state and national activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors.
GFB also has 20 agricultural commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major crops and livestock grown in Georgia.