Strawberries for Spring Fling: Festival planned Saturday at Deans Farm Market

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Strawberry-picking season kicks off Saturday at the Deans Farm Market Spring Fling.

“The berries are really prime now, nice, large, sweet berries,” said James Sharp of Deans Farm Market. “Fortunately, our rainy spell had been while the berries were still green, so now, if the rain will hold off for us during harvest, we’ll be fine.”

The market at 4231 N.C. 42 W. has been putting on the Spring Fling for about 10 years now to celebrate the strawberry harvest.

“We have about 20 local vendors that will be here. We will have free face-painting. We’ll have balloon art, kids games and music,” Sharp said. “It’s just something for the community to do at the same time our pick-your-own strawberry fields will be open and with the abundant sunshine we have had this week, there should be plenty of strawberries.”

“We’ve got food trucks from the local community that will be out as well, so it should be an exciting time for kids of all ages,” Sharpe said. “Our main thing is to bring other local vendors in to showcase what they have to offer here in town. It’s just good community involvement.”

The festival is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Slugger will be out from the Wilson Tobs. We’ll have an appearance of Strawberry Shortcake, the cartoon character. We’ll have our Deans Farm Market Strawberry (mascot),” Sharp said.

The market grew about 28 acres of the spring fruit this year.

“We have been harvesting for a little over a week now,” Sharp said.

Strawberries are a staple crop for Deans Farm Market.

“This year it looks like we’ve got a great crop coming on,” Sharp said. “We’re looking forward to a good season.”

Sharp said this year the market was fortunate not to have the fruit damaged by freezing temperatures.

“I think we had eight or nine nights that we had to protect them, but that is much less than we have had in the last few years,” Sharp said. “The crop is good and healthy and it looks like we will have a harvest right into June the way the plants look now. They are very healthy. We invite everybody to come out Saturday and have a good time.”