NC Cooperative Extension

The N.C. Cooperative Extension Service houses a multidisciplinary group of professionals at the N.C. Research Campus as part of the Plants for Human Health Institute. Providing expertise in farm business management, communications and marketing, and fresh produce safety, these Cooperative Extension staff serve as an outreach component to complement the research conducted at PHHI.

N.C. Strawberries

N.C. Strawberry Project logo - colorThe N.C. Strawberry Project is a partnership of N.C. State University's Plants for Human Health Institute and Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte. This project received support from the Golden LEAF Foundation.

Strawberry season lasts four to six weeks in North Carolina. It begins in the coastal area in early April, in the Piedmont in late April and in the mountains in late May.

N.C. Strawberries

2009 Sweet Statistics

Production value: $20.8 million
Pounds of berries: 19.5 million
National ranking: 4th (following CA, FL and OR)
Acres harvested: 1,500
N.C. strawberry operations: 400
N.C. agriculture industry: $74 billion (#1 industry in N.C.)


N.C. Strawberries Fact Sheet
(PDF)

N.C. Strawberry Farm Locator

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Strawberry Season

N.C. State’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus is working to extend the growing season for N.C. strawberries by breeding an N.C. strawberry suitable for the state’s climate.

N.C. Strawberry Season Chart

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N.C Strawberry Varieties

Currently, there are three main varieties of berries grown in North Carolina. Each of these varieties was originally developed for CA and FL growing conditions, making them more of a compromise than a solution for N.C. strawberry growers:

Camarosa strawberryCamarosa is primarily grown in eastern North Carolina for pre-pick operations, but is gaining popularity as a U-pick variety.

 

 

 

Strawberry_CHANDLERChandler is currently the standard cultivar for U-pick producers in North Carolina. It is the most reliable variety for the upper Piedmont and western parts of the state, where temperatures stay cooler longer.

 

 

Sweet Charlie strawberrySweet Charlie is a variety grown in North Carolina for its early-season yields. In general, Sweet Charlie makes up the minority of strawberries grown in the state.

 

 

Through the N.C. Strawberry Project, researchers at N.C. State’s Plants for Human Health Institute will work with chefs and students at Johnson & Wales University, as well as growers and consumers across the state, to identify ideal strawberry characteristics, like flavor, color, texture and size. The N.C. State strawberry breeding program, led by Dr. Jeremy Pattison, will incorporate those traits into a made-for-North Carolina strawberry using traditional breeding methods. Future N.C. berries may be even tastier and available for a longer period during the year!

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Health Benefits

Strawberries are a super source of nutrition, providing:

Antioxidants: help reduce the chance of heart disease and cancer.
Fiber: lowers the risk of heart disease and supports digestion.
Phytonutrients: aid in the prevention of cancer and diabetes.
Potassium: helps maintain blood pressure, aids muscle contractions.
Vitamin C: promotes healthy gums, teeth and bones.

Did You Know? Strawberries that are grown and sold locally are picked riper and travel shorter distances to market, so they are fresher and tastier!

 

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Strawberry Web Portal

NC Strawberry Portal screenshotThe N.C. Cooperative Extension component of PHHI, with a grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, developed the Strawberry Growers Information Portal to bring together on one website all the resources pertaining to production, management and marketing of strawberries; a “one-stop shop.”

New growers will find resources specific to start-up, while all growers will recognize the convenience of the weather/climate links. Video demonstrations of production tools and interactive budget spreadsheets are just two examples of the “virtual” resources this dynamic site offers.

Extension agents and growers can find research-based information specific to North Carolina strawberry production on this site from a variety of academic and scientific disciplines.

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strawberry Farm Locator

Get fresh N.C. strawberries while they are ripe! Use the N.C. Strawberry Association's farm locator guide.
 

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Watch N.C. Strawberry Project videos, including Chef Mark Allison and The Produce Lady as they prepare Strawberry Shrimp Cocktail and Strawberry Sunset Slaw!

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