Spring into Strawberries

Dan Alabama, Specialty Crops

strawberriesAlabamians craving farm-fresh fruit should look no further than the nearest roadside stand, farmers market or U-pick patch for sweet strawberries.

The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Mac Higginbotham encouraged families to load up, support local farmers and pick a farm from the organization’s new list of strawberry growers.

“Strawberries are the quintessential spring fruit,” said Higginbotham, the Federation’s Horticulture Division director. “Visiting a strawberry patch is a great way to get outside, work off energy and taste delicious, Alabama-grown products at their freshest.”

Strawberry season, which reaches peak productivity in late April to mid-May, is ramping up with the warmer weather.

Higginbotham said travelers headed south to the Gulf of Mexico are already making planned stops at various patches nestled next to highways.

“You can find strawberries in Alabama from March all the way into early June,” Higginbotham said. “Availability varies based on location since Alabama is a unique state with warm southern areas and cooler northern regions. That geographical diversity allows consumers to savor fresh, Alabama-grown strawberries for a longer season than other areas of the country.”

While freshly picked strawberries are delicious, Higginbotham said the fruit also easily blends into milkshakes, mixes into desserts and can be frozen to enjoy year round.

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