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Local farms offer pick-your-own strawberries

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POSTED: April 2, 2012 3:40 p.m.
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Many of Georgia Farm Bureau’s Certified Farm Markets, like this one at Osage Farm in Rabun County, offer strawberries and a variety of other fresh-grown produce.

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MACON, Ga. – Consumers can harvest their own strawberries at more than 30 pick-your-own farms across Georgia and reap memories with their families at the same time.

Warm weather early in the year brought the state’s strawberry crop to early maturity, and consumers with a hankering for the popular dessert fruit can head to the fields now to get their fill.

“The strawberries are beautiful,” said Debra Elliott of Elliott Farms in Lizella, which also produces blackberries and a variety of vegetables. “They’re big and pretty. All of our crops are about two weeks ahead of schedule.”

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.

Producers have already begun picking the fruit, and many you-pick farms like the Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets have them available to consumers, who should call ahead for availability. The peak harvest time for strawberries typically runs into June.

Grown statewide, strawberries are a staple of the you-pick market, and many strawberry farms offer farm tours and other products and services to enhance the on-farm experience, including hosting school and church groups for tours.

“Strawberry you-pick markets offer consumers an enjoyable and educational time at the farm,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “For a reasonable price, people see what’s happening there, and they go home with a delicious product of Georgia’s largest industry.”

GFB’s 2012 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, please http://www.gfb.org/commodities/cfm/directory/CertifiedFarmMarketSearch.asp

Georgia Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general farm organization, is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2012. The organization has 158 county offices, and approximately one out of nine Georgians are involved with Farm Bureau. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB also has 20 commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major commodities grown in Georgia.

 

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