Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
Activity remains steady at farmers markets across the state as blueberry season gets underway.
Summary of Talking points:
Activity at the state operated farmers
markets has remained steady as we continue to navigate this COVID-19 pandemic.
I am pleased to hear that visitors to our markets and others across the state
are doing a pretty good job of social distancing at the markets.
The markets are going to continue to
get busier as more items come into season, so we need everyone to keep up the
good work with washing their hands, waiting 6 feet away from another person and
wearing a mask.
I’ve been told that is being referred
to as the “three W’s.” We need visitors to remember those “three W’s” when they
are out and about.
Blueberries are the next one up and the
crop looks good, particularly for mid- to late-season berries. The season is
expected to run through July, so be sure to look for North Carolina blueberries
in your grocery store, farmers markets and roadside stands.
We are the seventh largest producer of
blueberries in the nation and have one of the top blueberry breeding programs in
the nation at the Horticultural Crops Research Station in Castle Hayne.
That station opened in 1947 and it is
perfectly situated for blueberry and muscadine grape research, which is what
they are known for.
Strawberry and blueberry seasons
typically overlap a bit. Strawberries continue to be harvested and I can tell
you I have had some delicious strawberries this season already. I expect I will
be having a few more.
Farms are taking precautions to protect
the public. I know some farms are spreading people out, alternating rows for
pick-your-own shoppers, while others are offering pick-up service only.
I know our farmers appreciate your continued
support, so be sure to shop local when you can.
With all the talk about COVID-19, I use
every chance I get to say this is not a food-borne illness and that people
should feel confident in the food supply.
Stay safe, shop local and we are going
to get through this.