We visited several farms over the past 2 days, starting with the Twilight Tour in Henderson County. Overall the crop is looking good and farmers are either gearing up to harvest or have been picking for a week or more. This year as is the case in most years, there is both good news and bad news.
First the good news. In the past couple of years, the North Carolina growers had their crop ripen at the same time as Georgia. However, this year the Georgia crop has finished which means that most of the berries that are being shipped for the next couple of weeks will be from North Carolina! There should be abundant supplies in the local markets as well.
Unfortunately for some growers, spotty hail storms over the past 2 weeks have damaged ripening fruit in the field. Currently, there is no tolerance for damaged fruit for shipping. So this means that some growers have had to find alternative markets for their damaged berries and some fields have had to be discarded. The picture above shows some of the damage that occurred. The irony of this situation is that the fruit tastes great.
There are promotions running in the chain stores this week and will be more in the upcoming weeks. Now is the time to indulge in some fresh blackberry fruit snacks, salads and deserts.