Warm temperatures help out strawberries - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Warm temperatures help out strawberries

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –The long, cold winter caused south Georgia strawberry plants to bloom later than usual.

Now, the warm temperatures are helping them out.

Southern Grace Farms opened its U-Pick field in Valdosta this week. Some spring breakers were out Tuesday picking the berries.

The cold weather caused these strawberry plants to bloom later than usual.

"It just kept them from blooming," said Laura McMillan, Southern Grace Farms Co-Owner. "It just really made our season a lot shorter and get a later start."

The berries are usually ready to be picked by Easter, but this year workers at Southern Grace Farms were worried they wouldn't be ready quite yet to pick.

"This year it did not look like we were going to have very many at all so we made the decision not to open the field and then it got up in the 80s and then all the sudden we did have berries," said McMillan.

Now the farm's Valdosta U-pick field is open. The berry field in Enigma won't open for a couple of days.

Southern Grace Farms says the darker the berry the sweeter the flavor. The variety they have at the Valdosta field is the cama rosa. The berry can turn almost purple when it's ripe.

Some kids were out at the field for the first time Tuesday.

"I get to pick strawberries and whenever I'm done I get to take them home and eat them in sugar," said Rachel Keith.

Others come on annual basis.

"This is my second year," Dracey Keith.

Another girl told us what she plans to do with her strawberries.

"I'll make jam, smoothies," said Misa Eller.

Strawberries are different from other fruits because they don't ripen after you pick them.

"A banana and a peach you can go to the field or the grocery store and get it on the green side and it will ripen up at home," said McMillan. A strawberry may change color you may pick it orange and it may turn red but it's not going to get any sweeter."

McMillan says to make sure the berries are red all over before you pick them.

The strawberry season will last until the end of May.

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