Strawberry season is here and farmers are ready

NASHVILLE– Despite the wet start to spring, sweet and juicy strawberries are prime for picking in most areas of Tennessee. If you are looking for the freshest berries, you need to go straight to the farm.

“We are seeing more ripe strawberries by the day.” Mitchell Hyde of Hyde Farms in Loudon County said. “The more sunshine, the more berries we will have ready to pick!” 

One West Tennessee farmer has already started a reservation list for people who want to pick their own.  “We are picking heavily this week—lots of strawberries are ripe and ready,” Timothy Brady of Dixie Chile Ranch in Obion County said. “All you have to do is let us know how many five-quart buckets you intend to pick and we’ll let you know what times are available.”

In Middle Tennessee, berries are selling fast. “We sold 65 gallons of strawberries within the first hour of opening,” Jon Kelley of Kelley’s berries in Trousdale County said. “The first week in May is generally the best time to visit the strawberry patch. However, we will have ripe strawberries well into June.”

Never picked fresh strawberries before? To learn more about the picking process for the farm you are going to visit, all you have to do is call and ask. Farmers also suggest calling ahead of time to ensure that berries are available. If you want fresh strawberries without the work, many farms provide the option for customers to purchase already-picked strawberries.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the number of Tennessee strawberry farms has increased by almost 4 percent during the last five years. The traditional season lasts about four to six weeks, depending on weather—so the best tasting strawberries you’ve ever had won’t last long.

Support your local economy and buy fresh strawberries from your local farmer today. Go to www.PickTNProducts.orgor use the free Pick Tennessee mobile app to find a farm near you. Follow “PickTNProducts” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about seasonal recipes, products, and activities.

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