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March 31, 2014




Brandon Ashley, (478) 474-0679,




MACON, Ga. – Tens of thousands of school children visit Georgia’s strawberry farms each year, learning about the berries, how they’re grown and what they look like in the field. In many cases they get an up-close look at other farm activities, too.

 “Actually seeing that the strawberry is grown in the field, they get so excited,” said Sheila Rice of Calhoun Produce in Turner County, one of 35 Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets that offer strawberries. “Their little faces just light up. They are used to seeing strawberries in the containers in the grocery store.”


Calhoun Produce has a bee house exhibit where kids learn about pollination and honey production, wagon tours during which visitors can see a variety of crops and farm animals. This year, the Ashburn farm has added pig races to its agritourism activities. And when the tour is done, of course visitors can take home some strawberries.

Rice said more than 3,000 students are already scheduled to visit on school field trips, and many families enjoy farm visits on the weekends to pick their own basket of strawberries.

The unusually cold winter resulted in a later harvest for many of the state’s strawberry farms, though Rice said it’s closer to normal than the past couple of years. The berries are usually available until late May and sometimes into June. Customers should call ahead for availability.

“The field looks great,” Rice said. “The blooms are loaded. You can look across the field and it’s just full of blooms, and the berries look really good.”

Strawberries are fat free and contain lots of potassium, fiber and folic acid. According to the Georgia Strawberry Growers Association, eight medium-size strawberries contain 160 percent of the USDA’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

“With the growing interest in where food comes from, our Certified Farm Markets program is more important than ever,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “The strawberries are delicious and people get to see some of what happens on a farm.”

GFB’s 2014 Certified Farm Markets brochures are now available, providing location and contact information for the markets.

For more information about Georgia Farm Bureau Certified Farm Markets, including a listing of markets in various areas of the state, visit

Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization and has 158 county offices. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, state and national activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB also has 20 agricultural commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major crops and livestock grown in Georgia.