Have you heard the good news? Strawberry growers are expecting a strong second wave of the crop, which should hopefully be ready for picking and last through the end of May. Farmers markets and roadside stands should have plenty of the red ripe berries for sale.
This is also great news for you-pick strawberry farms and the festivals celebrating the state’s official red berry. One of the oldest of these festivals,the N.C. Strawberry Festival in Chadbourn, which marks 85 years in May. In fact, it’s one of the oldest agricultural festivals in the state. The festival is held the first weekend in May and draws about 10,000 people from across the state. It includes a parade, cooking contest, arts and craft vendors, a car show and strawberry shortcake. Festival-goers can also check out the Got to be N.C. Big Cart, which is described as a “monster truck for groceries,” in the parade on Saturday, May 6, at 2 p.m.
North Carolina is the fourth-largest producer of strawberries in the nation, the crop generated more than $23 million in farm income in 2015. More information about the strawberry industry is available at www.ncstrawberry.com.
Once you get your strawberries home, here’s a recipe from Local Dish for a strawberry upside down cake. It was provided by Nanette Truelove, owner of DJ’s Berry Patch in Apex. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla butternut flavoring
1 cup self-rising flour
2 cup strawberries (sliced)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch cake pan with wax paper and spray with cooking spray. Make a layer of strawberries. Blend the sugar and egg. Then add the milk, oil and vanilla butternut flavoring, mixing well. Add the flour and continue mixing until well combined. Pour the batter over the strawberries and bake until the cake has risen and is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes and then invert onto a serving platter. Gently pull off the wax paper and serve.