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Families enjoy day on the strawberry farm

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Lois Barrett moves her basket of strawberries as she works her way up a row at Strawberries on 903, Friday.


By Tyler Stocks
The Daily Reflector

Monday, April 22, 2019

WINTERVILLE — Strawberry season is here, and on Sunday children and parents  stooped, reached and picked plump red berries and placed them into containers during a visit to Strawberries on 903 in Winterville.

Zia Purohit, 5, beamed with excitement as she picked strawberries to make jelly at home with her mother.

“I’m not eating jelly unless I make it,” Zia said laughing. But she also said she loves eating strawberries.

“Sometimes I just eat them as a snack,” she said. 

Zia also said she was watching out for spiders as she picked the berries. 

“My mom gets pretty scared of spiders so that’s why I try to keep her away from spiders,” Zia said. 

Being able to come out and pick berries by hand is fun, she said.

“I think it’s more fun than going to the store to get them,” Zia said. 

Zia’s father, Chirag Purohit said,  his family has been coming out to Strawberries on 903 for the last four to five years. 

“It’s a great family experience,” he said. “It’s basically kids get to enjoy picking strawberries and at the same time, they get to take it home and make their own jellies. It keeps them busy during spring and summer,” He said. 

Purohit also likes the fact that children learn about nature while having fun picking berries and making memories. 

“It’s a farm-to-table experience and I think that’s what makes a difference because the strawberries we usually get in stores are from California,” he said. “It gives a unique experience to say you’re eating the fresh berries. You’re getting the fresh berries rather than having to wait from it to show up from somewhere.

“I would greatly recommend this,” Purohit said. “Kids get to see in terms of how the berries grow, pick their own berries but at the same time, play with some of the farm animals and get to know what nature is.”

Ira Thompson, 8,  of Winterville, said he wasn’t sure what he was going to do with all of the strawberries he picked but said he got to play with farm animals before getting his berries. 

“I really like seeing the farm animals and I’m not quite sure what we’re going to be doing with the strawberries,” Ira said. 

Thompson’s mother, Laura Thompson, said she and Ira have been picking berries for several years. 

“Every single year, we’ve come out here,” she said.  “I like that they have animals so the kids can come and see the animals. I like that not only do they have the strawberries here in the spring, but also in the summer, they have the produce and that it’s free from pesticides and other chemicals. The family that runs it, it’s also a family-owned business so I feel like we’re supporting local Pitt County produce and family business.

“These sort of things are available in Pitt County and they are family-friendly activities available to us,” Thompson said. 

Strawberries on 903 co-owner Mike Skinner said the crop is doing well despite all the rainfall that Pitt County has experienced recently. 

“The flavors has been really good,” Skinner said. “The rain has been spaced out and these berries are grown on top of black plastic. We’ve kind of controlled the moisture to a certain extent.” 

Other farms in Pitt County and the surrounding area also offer families the chance to come out and pick strawberries and the season runs from now through May.   The farms are listed below. 

■ Brileys Strawberries & Produce — 2312 Ram Horn Road, Greenville. Phone: 413-6155 or 757-3969. Open: April 20-Nov 15; Call for hours. Directions: Located U.S. 264 East, three miles from Greenville Marine.

■ Brock's Berries & Produce Farm — 862 Laurie Ellis Road, Winterville. Phone: 321-2197 or 531-3329. Email: brocksberries@gamil.com. Open: See website and Facebook page for current hours. Directions: from Best Buy in Greenville drive south on Evans Street toward Winterville for about four miles. (Evans Street becomes Old Tar Road) Continue on Tar Road past the Trade Station in Winterville. Take the first left onto Laurie Ellis Road The farm is less than one half mile on the right.

■ Haddock Orchard — 5992 County Home, Winterville. Phone: 756-3433. Directions: From Greenville, take Arlington Boulevard south and continue on Count Home Road (approximately five miles) farm on right. Open: Monday to Saturday 8 am to 5 pm.

■ Green Acres Strawberries — 6838 NC Hwy 33 N.W., Tarboro, Phone: 823-5111 or 823-6351. Directions: Located on 6838 N.C. 33 N.W., seven miles northwest of Tarboro. Open: Sunday to Saturday 9 am to 7 pm; April-June.

■ OJ Smith Farms, Inc. — 12675 NC 48, Whitakers. Phone: 437-1721. Directions: Located off I-95, Exit 150, N.C. 33. Open: Monday to Saturday 8 am to 6 pm; end of April thru June.

Contact Tyler Stocks at tstocks@reflector.com or 252-329-9566.