Strawberry season has arrived! April marks the beginning of strawberry season here in North Carolina and will run through the end of May.
North Carolina is the fourth-largest producer of strawberries in the nation, with about 1,100 acres harvested across the state. Growers have already started picking in Eastern North Carolina. Piedmont growers will begin picking in mid-April and growers in the mountains should start by the first of May. The peak of the season is traditionally Mother’s Day and will typically last through Memorial Day.
Consumers also can find locally grown strawberries in grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets by looking for the Got To Be NC logo. The Got To Be NC program is the official state identity program for N.C. agricultural products, and lets consumers know they are buying a product grown, raised, caught or made in North Carolina.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and N.C. Strawberry Association will celebrate with two Strawberry Day events in May. The first event is at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh on May 2. The celebration includes a strawberry recipe contest, ice cream samples and a visit by Suzy Strawberry. On May 3, the Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax will host its Strawberry Day, which also includes a recipe contest, ice cream samples and visit by Suzy Strawberry.
To start the season, we are sharing a decadent and easy strawberry recipe that will be a good go-to fruity dessert.
1/2 cup butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 quarts strawberries, washed and capped
4 ounces cream cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter and pour in 9 x 13 pan. Mix egg, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and milk. Pour over butter. Add strawberries and pieces of cream cheese. Bake for 45 minutes.