MARBLE FALLS, TX (KXAN) — While it’s still winter, thousands of people are flocking to Marble Falls to celebrate a new season in Central Texas – strawberry season.
Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls allows people to come and pick their own strawberries each spring. The farm opened up over the weekend on February 25, just in time for National Strawberry Day, which is celebrated on Feb. 27.
Opening the fields to the public on the last weekend in February marked the earliest-ever opening date for the farm.
Lacy Garcia helps run the farm and talked with KXAN about the different conditions this year, and what the early opening means for the rest of the season.
“There’s a couple of different factors that played into that,” Garcia said. “The first one is we had a relatively mild winter, so we didn’t have to cover the strawberry plants as much as normal. The second factor is we planted a lot of Florida varieties. Florida’s strawberry season typically runs from November to February, so this is right on par with strawberry season in Florida.”
Surviving the Freeze
“We have these sandbags behind us. What happens is we put these huge blankets over the strawberries that gives us about five to ten degrees freeze protection and we really only need to do that whenever we have strawberry blooms. That’s what we’re trying to keep alive. The strawberry plants themselves are cold hardy down to zero degrees, so we weren’t too worried about the plants, just the blooms to produce the strawberries.”
“We have lots of blooms on the plants which indicates that we’ve got a lot of new growth coming in, and we’re not seeing a lag behind that so all and all a great season so far.”
Know Before You Go
“Saturdays are the best day if you’re going to come on the weekend, just because they don’t have a ton of time to ripen up for Sunday. So Saturdays are the best day of the weekend to come out. There’s no entrance fee to pick strawberries, they’re $3.50 a pound, you can pick as many or as little as you’d like, it just depends on you and your budget. Some other Spring activities – we’ve got the berry bounce, the barrel train, sand art, paint a pot, we’ve got lovely goats to feed and pet. It’s a lovely farm fun day here at Sweet Berry Farm.”
“It’s going to be so fun with the tulips. We have about 330,000 tulip bulbs planted. So, you can expect to walk through acres and acres of tulips coming up pretty soon. The word on the street is we’re going to open the field up this coming Saturday. Tulips season will typically last, depending on the weather, anywhere from 11 days to 30 days, so it hits really quick. So, if you’re interested in tulips I recommend coming as soon as we say, ‘come on.’