Strawberry farms in Virginia Beach urge customers to come pick as they deal with surplus of berries

thumbnail_Image (38).jpg
Posted at 1:46 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 19:03:02-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - They say there's nothing like a freshly picked strawberry — but you can't eat 'em if ya don't pick 'em.

Strawberry farms in Virginia Beach need your help.

Image (1).jpeg

"We really need people to come out and get these berries."

A surplus of strawberries? That sounds like a dream! But for these farmers, it feels more like a nightmare.

"30-40% of our income comes from these berries," Jennifer Vaughan, co-owner of Vaughan Farms, says.

Vaughan Farms is not alone. Wink Henley of Henley Farms says strawberries make up about half of his yearly profits.

When it rained on Mother's Day this year, they really took a hit.

"It rained all day long and you just couldn't do anything, so we actually closed on Mother's Day. And that is our biggest day of the year," Henley said.

If the strawberries don't get picked in time, they will go bad.

Most local Pungo farms sell their berries for about $3.99 a pound. While that may be a bit pricier than the chain grocery store, your taste buds will tell you it's worth it.

Vaughan tells News 3 that the reason why these berries taste so much better than the store is that they were designed for fresh picking.

"Strawberries in the grocery store are grown for shipping. They are more interested in the sturdy strawberry that will travel across the country. These have to come straight off the plant and into your mouth," she said.

Customers say you can't beat a family day at the farm - all while supporting a local business.

"I brought my children out here when they were growing up and then I brought her and my grandsons, I brought them out here as well. Strawberries are awesome," Elaine Angelini and Remi Mae, strawberry farm customers, said.

There is still about a month left to fill your baskets, as the strawberry season runs until June. When exactly it ends, that's going to depend on the weather.

Related: Strawberry farm hopeful for a promising season after facing pandemic struggles last year