Strawberries ready, farmer’s markets opening

Published 9:14 am Thursday, April 21, 2016

By Pam Jones

Extension Agent

Local foods are fresher, tastier, and more nutritious  – and they’re available earlier this year.

Those are bold claims borne out by food safety and nutrition research. Farmers have the opportunity to choose fruit and vegetable varieties to grow based upon taste, not how well they travel.

Green tomatoes will never ripen and be as tasty as vine-ripened.

The moment you pick a strawberry, the ripening process stops and the rotting process begins. Loss of nutrition begins at harvest.

So why am I sharing this information? We have dozens of local farmers producing quality produce in Davie County. There are three farmers markets here with upcoming opening dates.   

In addition to our farmers’ markets, we have producers who have farm stands or roadside stands. Be sure to search for local producers at NC Farm Fresh’s website, If you are a local producer with a farm stand or pick your own operation, please contact me. As Extension Local Foods Coordinator, I am putting together a directory of sources to purchase local foods in Davie County and would love to let people know about your operation.

Local 2015 NC Farm School graduates Justin and Holly Miller have expanded their farm production to include pick-your-own strawberries this season.Cherry Hill Farms opens to the public this Saturday, April 23 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. for picking. The Millers planted strawberry plants last fall in response to many inquiries last year for pick-your-own strawberries in Davie County. The farm is at 1293 Cherry Hill Road, Mocksville.

Davie residents are fortunate to have three farmers markets in different areas of the county and on different days.

The Town of Mocksville sponsors a downtown farmers market on Wednesday afternoons.

The Peachtree Market in Bermuda Run will return to the Wake Forest Baptist Health-Davie Medical Center on NC 801, Bermuda Run, on Friday afternoons.

On Saturday mornings, there will be a farmers market at Farmington Community Center on Farmington Road.

All three markets offer locally raised fruits and vegetables as well as handmade crafts.

Another consideration of buying locally is your support of local farmers. Locally sold produce allows growers to keep 80-90 cents per dollar spent by consumers. That compares to 9 cents in traditional food markets. More of that money also stays in our local economy since our farmers market vendors are local producers.

Buy local and support local farmers. As the bumper sticker says, “NO FARMS, NO FOOD!”

For more information on buying fresh, locally grown foods and Davie Farmers Markets contact me at While pondering the positives of buying locally grown foods, please also consider becoming a part of the NC Cooperative Extension 10% Campaign by pledging to spend 10% of your food budget buying locally grown foods.