Today’s Topic: Blueberry season and keeping it local.

By on May 12, 2020

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.

Today’s Topic

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.
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  1. Sue Kneeshaw Yagel
    May 15, 2020

    I continue to be thankful for Comm. Troxler’s leadership. Missed “Got to Be NC Festival” and Ag Forum this year but agree it was not wise. Unsure about Six development effect on NC Farmer’s Market.