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Local Favorite: Fresh-picked strawberry stands open next week

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated May 1, 2020 at 8:08 AM

UNICOI — With good luck and a few days of sunshine, fresh-picked, locally grown strawberries will be available in grocery stores and roadside stands beginning next week.

Depending on the weather, Steve Scott of Scott Farms in Unicoi said this year’s strawberry season has potential to be a long one.

“The rain hasn’t hurt us yet. We just need some sunshine and dry weather,” he said. “May 5th is about the normal starting time for us.

“With winter being as warm as it was, (the berries) started early and we were a little ahead. Then it turned cool and slowed them down. We just need a couple of warm days around the lower 70s.

“There’s a good crop there that has potential to be a pretty long season if the weather warms up anywhere close to normal.”

If the weather cooperates, the local favorite known to create a line anytime the roadside strawberry stands are open, could be available through the the final weeks of June. But for the next several days, only a few of the berries will available to buyers — and only if the sun is shining.

Scott said farm workers have been “cleaning the vines” of berries that have ripened early and selling those at the Scott’s Farm Market at 600 Highway 107 in Unicoi, and at a few of the 65 Food City stores between Abingdon, Virginia, and Knoxville that will carry the fresh-picked berries throughout the season.

Ever conscious of the weather, he said, “As long as it isn’t raining, we can get in there and pick.”