Now is prime time to pick strawberries and Iowa residents are encouraged to take advantage of the many strawberry farms located across the state. "Strawberry growers in Iowa have a bumper crop this year," says Bill Northey, Iowa secretary of agriculture. "This is a great time to take the whole family out to enjoy the weather, spend quality time together and pick strawberries. It's also a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth."
Reports indicate a more plentiful strawberry crop this year with larger berries. In addition, they are ripening slightly ahead of schedule which means now is the time to get the best berries the 2007 season has to offer.
Besides being versatile and delicious, strawberries also pack a nutritional punch. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C, fiber, folic acid and potassium. They are also low in calories and are fat-free. Eight medium strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange. So go ahead and eat as many as you want!
Web site has locations of Iowa berry farms
Strawberry varieties grown in Iowa include Tristar, Eariglow, Jewel and Honeoye. There are many opportunities to buy one of these varieties or others from a local grower near you.
Whether you prefer to purchase your strawberries from a farmers market, or to pick them yourself, you can obtain the information on where Iowa's strawberry farms are located by going to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website. There are 54 growers from 37 counties who have listed their information on this site www.agriculture.state.ia.us/fruitvegetable.asp
For more information or assistance, contact Tammy Stotts at the Iowa Department of Agriculture's Ag Diversification and Market Development Bureau at 515-281-7657.