Depending on your location, different berries may be ripe and ready to pick at different times. While Northern Virginia might still be rolling in strawberries, other parts of the state are gearing up for blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
“Locally grown small fruit is an excellent source of essential vitamins and antioxidants, and it tastes great too,” said Tony Banks, commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation
Some consumers enjoy visiting their local farmers’ markets for fresh fruits, while others prefer picking their own, and options abound for both.
Agriberry Farm in Hanover County offers a picking program that shows would-be growers the specifics of berry production. Owner Anne Geyer sells her fruits through her community-supported agriculture operation and at farmers’ markets. “The biggest benefit over buying these at a grocery store is that you get the direct contact with the farm staff,” she said.
Banks said berry production can benefit farmers as well. “Small fruits are not a Top 10 commodity state-wise, but an individual with a few acres of crops could make a very nice profit this way, whether it’s only a portion of their sales or their entire business.”
To find a farmers’ market or pick-your-own venue near you, check the Fresh Food Locator feature at Virginia Farm Bureau’s SaveOurFood.org.
via – Virginia Farm Bureau