Updated: Mar 5, 2022
Strawberries are ripe, let the picking begin! The Strawberry U-Pick to benefit Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District youth programs is scheduled to run 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at Fancy Farms in Plant City, at 3524 Futch Loop.
“We are thrilled that the Grooms family again offered us a Fancy Farms field to pick to benefit our youth programs,” said Betty Jo Tompkins, executive director of the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District. “The field is bursting forth with large, juicy and delicious berries. Pickers won’t have a problem finding as many berries as they care to pick.”
UPDATED: The cost to pick is $1 per pound in 2-pound containers (we provide the containers).HSWCD March 5 Strawberry U-Pick.pdf
Tompkins said it has been a particularly strong year for strawberries, a harvest that is set to be celebrated March 3-11 at the 87th Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. Reportedly, roughly 200,000 strawberry shortcakes are served annually at the festival, making it the official festival dessert.
Strawberry shortcake is set to become the official state dessert as well, thanks to legislation passed in February and awaiting the signature of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. More specifically, the official designation is for “strawberry shortcake with natural Florida dairy topping.”
The March 5 HSWCD Strawberry U-Pick is in the heart of Plant City, in east Hillsborough County. According to state officials, more than 10,000 acres of strawberries are planted annually in the greater Plant City area, accounting for 75 percent of the nation’s winter strawberry crops. No wonder Plant City is known as the “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.”
Again, we repeat, let the picking begin!
“It’s a real honor to be given the opportunity to raise funds for our youth programs due to the tremendous generosity of Carl, Dee Dee, Dustin, Christi and the entire Grooms family,” Tompkins said. “Fancy Farms is a Plant City treasure and we are honored to have their support.”
HSWCD is set to hold a second u-pick later this year, this time for blueberries in May. Stay tuned, more details to come.