Strawberry season underway in North Carolina, the 4th largest producer of strawberries in the country

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The 2019 strawberry season is underway in North Carolina.

May is known as strawberry month across the state according to the N.C. Strawberry Association.

Peak season usually occurs around Mother's Day in May, when more than 1,000 acres are harvested at N.C. farms.

For Raleigh's 100-acre Page Farm, the end of April brought enough of the fruit, growing on three acres, to open a pick-your-own patch for visitors.

Farmer Danny Page believes it will be a good season.

"It looks pretty good," Page said. "I think it's going to be a little later crop than what we have for some and for some people it's going to be an early crop for them. It's a matter of when they planted. If they planted before Hurricane Michael came (in October) then, they're earlier and those who planted after Michael, we'll be a little on the late side."

According to the Department of Agriculture, strawberry crops bring in an average of more than $20 million a year in the Tarheel State.

North Carolina is the fourth largest producer of strawberries in the nation and while California and Florida are ahead in production, they primarily grow for shipping.

North Carolina is unique in that almost all of the fruit is sold for fresh markets, local supermarkets, farm stands, or at pick-your-own patches like Page Farms.

"We're open for business," Page said. "Check Facebook for our hours, because we have to close down when we get picked over. We just have to open and close when they're ready."

The State Department of Agriculture and the State's Strawberry Association will have a Strawberry Day event in Raleigh on May 2 at the State Farmers Market.
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