MACON — Consumers can get a firsthand look at agricultural production beginning in early April, when the strawberries at more than 30 “you-pick” farms across the state will be ready for harvest.
“We’ve had some early warm weather and should be ready a little earlier than last year,” Jake Carter of Southern Belle Farm in McDonough said. “We should be ready to open up the second week of April, and we’re looking forward to a good crop.”
A popular dessert fruit, strawberries are fat free and rich in folic acid, potassium and fiber. According to the Georgia Strawberry Growers Association, eight medium-size strawberries contain 160 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
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 are a great, affordable family activity,” Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said. “It’s a good way to get people to come to the farm and see what’s happening there.”
Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2011 Certified Farm Markets brochures now are available at county Farm Bureau offices, roadside visitor centers and other selected outlets, providing location and contact information for the markets.
For more information about Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets, including a list of markets in various areas of the state, go to www.gfb.org/commodities/cfm/default.html.
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization. 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.