Charleston, WV – The West Virginia Department of
Agriculture (WVDA) is seeking fresh, West Virginia grown strawberries for
this year’s West Virginia Strawberry Festival. The department is hosting a
“Strawberry Market” planned during the festival on May 18th and 19th.
“West Virginia has
such diverse terrains and climates throughout the state. This event is a
great opportunity for West Virginia’s farmers to showcase the variety of
crops that can be grown locally,” said West Virginia Commissioner of
Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “For residents of the area, it’s a reminder of
West Virginia’s agricultural heritage.”
Sponsored by the
West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA), the festival, and the City
of Buckhannon, the sale is open to any West Virginia grower who can deliver
berries to the sale. Berries can also be entered in the “Sweetest Berry”
contest and auction next door to the sale.
“At one time, the
Upshur County area grew a surplus of strawberries that were shipped out of
state following the festival. One report from the Upshur County Historical
Society notes that more than 1,500 gallons of berries were shipped to
Pittsburgh,” Leonhardt said. “Over the years, that supply was replaced by
berries from large-scale, out-of-state producers.”
The early timing
of the festival has been problematic for growers who have a difficult time
getting ripe berries in mid-May. However, the increasing prevalence of high
tunnels, low-cost, unheated greenhouse structures, makes fresh berries in
mid-May a more practical proposition than in the past.
should contact event organizer Buddy Davidson at 304-541-5932, or firstname.lastname@example.org.