Tennessee’s Strawberry Crop Late, But Still Great, For Most of State
NASHVILLE - Despite the recent threat of a hard freeze across Tennessee, the state’s strawberry crop remains unscathed - mostly. The 2014 strawberry season is still on track to begin around the first week of May in West Tennessee, where temperatures are milder, and as late as June 1 for upper East Tennessee where temperatures are cooler and the majority of freeze damage occurred.
Tennessee strawberry growers tend to have loyal customers who make a trip to the strawberry patch an annual tradition. Since strawberry season is relatively brief, lasting just a month or so, strawberry lovers should locate local growers and markets that sell local berries ahead of the season, if possible, to get a shot at this coveted crop.
Call local growers to find out when a particular patch is ready to pick, hours of operation, and how the farm’s berries are sold. Some growers provide their own containers, and others expect pickers to bring their own. Some sell pre-picked berries, and will set aside containers berries for those who call ahead. Others may take a certain amount of berries to a local farmers market in a location which might be more convenient for customers than a trip out to a farm.
A new “Pick Tennessee” mobile app from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Pick Tennessee Products program allows users to search for strawberry patches that are closest to the app user, as well as markets where local berries are sold. Once a location has been selected, the app uses GPS mapping to direct those potential customers to that location. The mobile app is free for downloading from both Google Play for Android devices and from the iTunes Store for Apple products.
Statewide directories of strawberry growers and farmers markets are also available at the Pick Tennessee Products Web site, www.picktnproducts.org.
Contact Dr. David Lockwood, UT Institute of Agriculture, (865) 414-2412, for details about how strawberries may be affected by recent weather conditions. Additional contacts are available through Patricia McDaniels, UT Institute of Agriculture Marketing and Communications, (615) 835-4570.
Contact Tennessee Department of Agriculture specialist Pamela Bartholomew at (615) 837-5348 for more information or visit www.picktnproducts.org.
The following Tennessee strawberry and fruit crop growers have been contacted to be ready for media calls and farm visits:
Moore Farms Strawberries
Ben Moore family
270 Watts Rd., Dresden, Tennessee 38225
Cell - (731) 431-2022
Home – (731) 364-5510
Green Acres Farm (strawberries)
Denton Clay Parkins
158 Medina Highway
Milan, TN 38358 (Gibson County)
Phone: (731) 686-1403
Batey Farms (strawberries)
Brandon Whitt, Manager
3250 Medical Center Parkway
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Phone: (615) 848-4178 (615) 890-1608
Bradley Kountry Acres & Greenhouse (strawberries, fruit trees, greenhouses)
Mike & Cathy Bradley
650 Jake Link Rd
Cottontown, TN 37048 (Sumner County)
Phone: (615) 325-2836 OR (615) 335 - 9310
Shade Tree Farm (apple orchard, berries)
Tom Head, Farm Manager & Grower
2087 Kinneys Road
Adams, TN 37010 (Robertson County)
Phone: (615) 696-2915
Fax: (615) 696-2915
Fruit and Berry Patch (variety of berries, fruit trees)
J. Dennis Fox
4407 McCloud Road
Knoxville, TN 37938 (Knox County)
Phone: (865) 922-3779 (865) 385-8654 or (865 92-b-e-r-r-y)
Buffalo Trail Orchard
Phillip Ottinger (orchard, berries)
1890 Dodd Branch Road
Greeneville, TN 37743 (Greene County)
Phone: (423) 639-2297
Black Oak Farms (strawberries, peach trees)
David & Janet Cantrell, Owners
7235 Corryton Road
Corryton, TN 37721 (Knox County)
Phone: (865) 687-6900