VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) -Strawberry season is here and the Market at Rutland Farms is getting ready for their Strawberry Jubilee Festival starting this weekend.
Last year, the pandemic impacted many agricultural industries and put a hold on fruit fests.
Farmers are ready for a comeback this year.
Family-owned and operated for five generations, Rutland farms have evolved into a diverse farming operation and a local tourism attraction.
The market opened in 2012 and it offers, of course, strawberries that can be boxed or you can pick out your own. Along with locally produced specialties like jams and honey, as well as a bakery for sweet treats.
“So yeah, it made a difference last year, coming back with a boom this year,” said Margaret Jones, grandmother of the owner.
The yearly tradition, Strawberry Jubilee Festival, was canceled last year due to the pandemic.
Jones tells me they’re excited to bring it back. Taking place every Saturday in April.
Visitors can expect a tour of the farm, petting zoo, playground for kids, and tasty bites.
“Well, they’re certainly locally, and that’s a big demand. That’s high demand. And some restaurants, of course, do not ship the strawberries. Drivers come here from a bit of a distance to buy strawberries and even truck drivers will stop here from the interstate,” said Jones.
Having to shut down the shop last year, they provided curbside for shoppers.
The pandemic also affected the educational learning experience they provide.
Schools around town would schedule field trips.
“When you have a reputation of producing a good product, you know what you’re doing and you do it year in and year out then basically it sells itself,” said Jones.
The Rutland Family is excited to welcome everyone back for this festive event.