Strawberry Festival Wants Farmer Participation - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Strawberry Festival Wants Farmer Participation

Posted: Updated:
  • COUNTRY ROADS JOURNALCountry Roads JournalMore>>

  • Adopted West Virginian producing 55 documentaries

    Adopted West Virginian producing 55 documentaries

    Saturday, August 2 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-08-02 19:00:16 GMT
    Wayne Worth entered the world of documentaries by committing to produce 55 of them. A social worker by day, Worth is now two years and 39 counties into his goal of creating an educational video about the culture and history of each county in West Virginia.
    Wayne Worth entered the world of documentaries by committing to produce 55 of them. A social worker by day, Worth is now two years and 39 counties into his goal of creating an educational video about the culture and history of each county in West Virginia.
  • Friendly City to host microbrew festival

    Friendly City to host microbrew festival

    Saturday, August 2 2014 2:00 PM EDT2014-08-02 18:00:09 GMT
    The inaugural Mountaineer Brewfest was born when one Wheeling beer lover decided the Friendly City needed to play host to the Mountain State’s growing craft beer businesses.
    The inaugural Mountaineer Brewfest was born when one Wheeling beer lover decided the Friendly City needed to play host to the Mountain State’s growing craft beer businesses.
  • National junior golf tournament making inaugural trip to WV

    National junior golf tournament making inaugural trip to WV

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:20:40 GMT
    Pete Dye Club. Photo courtesy BigIGolf.comPete Dye Club. Photo courtesy BigIGolf.com
    The Trusted Choice® Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual junior golf event Aug. 5-8.
    The Trusted Choice® Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual junior golf event Aug. 5-8.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Friends of McDowell County Train Fatality speak out, Ask for Donations

    Friends of McDowell County Train Fatality speak out, Ask for Donations

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:46:55 GMT
    Tragedy strikes on train tracks in southern West Virginia. One person is dead and two others hurt after coming too close to a train in McDowell County.
    Tragedy strikes on train tracks in southern West Virginia. One person is dead and two others hurt after coming too close to a train in McDowell County.
  • NEW DETAILS: Tips leads to sex offender's capture in Princeton

    NEW DETAILS: Tips leads to sex offender's capture in Princeton

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:22 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:22:55 GMT
    State Troopers out of Princeton, WV confirmed that they are looking for Christopher Lee Tolliver, a registered sex offender. Tolliver was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on Tuesday Aug. 19, 2014, but failed to show up.
    State Troopers out of Princeton, WV confirmed that they are looking for Christopher Lee Tolliver, a registered sex offender. Tolliver was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on Tuesday Aug. 19, 2014, but failed to show up.
  • Family left homeless in Raysal, McDowell County after a fire rips through their house

    Family left homeless in Raysal, McDowell County after a fire rips through their house

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:19 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:19:25 GMT
    A fire late Thursday night leaves a family in McDowell County homeless. Everyone was able to get out of the home in Raysal safely, but a friend of the family, who saved their dog, told us it was a very close call.
    A fire late Thursday night leaves a family in McDowell County homeless. Everyone was able to get out of the home in Raysal safely, but a friend of the family, who saved their dog, told us it was a very close call.

 

Fresh, local strawberries are needed for this year's West Virginia Strawberry Festival to stock a new "Strawberry Market" planned for this year's event. 

The Strawberry Festival board and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture are working cooperatively with farmers to have local berries for sale at a retail tent on Main Street adjacent to the Courthouse. 

Plans are to have the market open on Friday and Saturday of the festival, which is scheduled for May 10-18 in Buckhannon.

"This great festival is an excellent opportunity for local farmers to benefit from the visitors that pour into Upshur County each May," said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. "I believe that festival-goers are more than willing to pay a premium for fresh, local berries. But like the other tremendous food-related opportunities in our state, we need more growers to become involved." 

He added that the increasing prevalence and use of high and low tunnels - low-cost, unheated greenhouse-type structures - makes fresh berries in mid-May a more practical proposition than in past years. In past decades, local farmers produced enough berries for the festival and for export. One undated report in the archives of the Upshur County Historical Society notes that more than 1,500 gallons of berries were shipped to Pittsburgh. 

It also said that farmers would be supplying cherries, raspberries and currants later in the season. He also said that some people who are interested in growing for the festival may not be able to have fruit this year because most varieties take more than a year to produce good yields. 

"Regardless, we want to get the ball rolling on this project, which is an initiative for the economic future of our state. It's been a long time since local berries were widely available at the West Virginia Strawberry Festival. I believe if festival-goers get a taste of berries this year, they will demand them next year and in the years to come." 

For information, contact WVDA Communications Officer Buddy Davidson at 304-558-3708.