Early harvest could impact annual Strawberry Festival

Early harvest could impact annual Strawberry Festival (Image 1)

The Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festival could face a shortage in berries at this year's event due to an early harvest.

Due to the extremely mild temperatures in recent months, many area farmers said they have already experienced a plentiful crop of berries.

“We've got an abundant crop. Everything looks good. It looks like everybody is satisfied with the berries they are getting so that looks out great,” Cathy Bradley at Bradley Kountry Acres said.

Due to the ample supply of strawberries so early in the season, some fear there could be a limited supply at the annual Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festival which has been held in Portland for the past 71 years during the peak of the season.

“We are about three weeks early. Typically we would begin to pick at this time of year,” explained Bradley.  

The annual festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 19.  

“It is a time for Portland to celebrate the berries and it is a time for us to celebrate and come together and enjoy what we have,” said Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce Sherri Ferguson said.

Ferguson said despite the fear of not having the normal supply of berries on hand at the event, she plans for it to be a successful event.

“Come festival day, which is May 19, they are going to struggle to have as many [strawberries] as we would like to have, but we are still going to go ahead with the festival. Every thing will be great,” she said.

While all of the Strawberry Festival activities will continue as planned, strawberry farmers like Bradley suggests those who want to enjoy fresh strawberries this year, don't wait to pick your own or buy them because the best berry could be gone earlier than normal.

For more information Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festival visit their Web site.

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