NASHVILLE - Despite the recent threat of a hard freeze across Tennessee, the state’s strawberry crop remains unscathed - mostly. The 2014 strawberry season is still on track to begin around the first week of May in West Tennessee, where temperatures are milder, and as late as June 1 for upper East Tennessee where temperatures are cooler and the majority of freeze damage occurred.
Tennessee strawberry growers tend to have loyal customers who make a trip to the strawberry patch an annual tradition. Since strawberry season is relatively brief, lasting just a month or so, strawberry lovers should locate local growers and markets that sell local berries ahead of the season, if possible, to get a shot at this coveted crop.
Call local growers to find out when a particular patch is ready to pick, hours of operation, and how the farm’s berries are sold. Some growers provide their own containers, and others expect pickers to bring their own. Some sell pre-picked berries, and will set aside containers berries for those who call ahead. Others may take a certain amount of berries to a local farmers market in a location which might be more convenient for customers than a trip out to a farm.