Strawberry festivals, strawberry shortcake and strawberry picking are all great boosts to local and state economies where strawberries grow well.
According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, the United States grows more strawberries than any other country. While strawberries grow year-round in California, numerous others states are growing strawberries from March thru November — depending on the local climate.
In Ventura County, California, strawberries accounted for a third of the agriculture industry by a few years ago, according to the Ventura County Star. “It’s part of our identify as a community,” said Nancy Lindholm, president and CEO of Oxnard’s Chamber of Commerce. But it’s not just the economic promise of the crop. It’s how people feel about strawberry fields.
“It’s a happy crop,” Edgar Terry, vice chairman of the strawberry commission had said.
From the strawberry fields of Pennsylvania to those in Oregon, from the edge of Washington state to the Florida Everglades and even dotting New England — where there are strawberries, there are strawberry picking, strawberry festivals and fresh strawberry parfaits. Especially on June 25th, National Strawberry Parfait Day.
Local governments and partners can find ways to serve up strawberries and generate revenues along with all the smiles. While some may find that pick-your-own is more fun, the University of Kentucky Extension Service did a study comparing the profitability with hired harvest management that may be helpful to those thinking about planting a community strawberry harvest. Overall, properly managed strawberry plantings in Kentucky in 2014 had the potential to return $3,000-$5,000 per year over a four-year lifetime.
Learn more about monetizing agricultural festivals and developing creative programs: