News: Strawberry Crop Timely, Abundant

Leaders of the North Carolina Strawberry Association (NCSA) say the 2017 strawberry season will start on time this year with an abundance of fruit, despite above normal winter temperatures and early-spring frosts.

“The warmer weather in late winter had us predicting our strawberries would ripen early, but then overnight freezing temperatures brought the crop back on schedule and our farm will open the same time we typically do for strawberry season,” said Doug Patterson, NCSA president.

Patterson is a grower with Patterson Farms, a 4th generation family-owned produce business in China Grove, N.C., located 40 minutes northeast of Charlotte. His strawberries will be ready in mid-April and he says they will have an abundant supply.

The timing that strawberries ripen in North Carolina can vary by as much as two weeks due to weather conditions, geographical location of the farm and other factors. There are strawberry plant varieties that are cold tolerant and grow year round.

Kristy Phillips, NCSA executive secretary, says in North Carolina the strawberry season generally begins in early- to mid-April and goes through mid-June. This year some strawberry farms in the Piedmont and Coastal areas have already opened.

“The best way to know when strawberry farms will open and which ones are closest to you is to use our Farm Locator feature on our website,” Phillips said.

The Farm Locator feature on the new website connects consumers with strawberry growers in their area. Organized by state (the association has members in other states, too), users can access a listing of farms’ physical addresses, phone numbers, emails and/or websites. A map on the website also pinpoints each farm’s location.

“We encourage those who want to buy or pick strawberries to always contact farms directly before their visit to confirm when they will open, their hours and berry quantities,” said Phillips.

NCSA’s updated website not only lets consumers know where they can pick or purchase strawberries, but also gives them ideas of what to do with the red fruit. New website features for strawberry member growers include creating an account through the website to keep their farm information current, registering and paying for the Southeast Strawberry Expo, and uploading and paying for advertising in the association’s monthly newsletter, The Strawberry Grower.

Strawberry Event Days 2017

North Carolina Strawberry Event Days 2017

Date:  Thursday May 4, 2017

Location:  State Farmers Market Raleigh, NC

Strawberry Day

“Free Samples” NC Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Recipe Contest

Appearance by “Suzy Strawberry”

Brochures and Nutritional Information

11 am till 1 pm


Date:  Friday May 5, 2017

Location:  Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Famers Market, Colfax, NC

Strawberry Day

“Free Samples” NC Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Recipe Contest

Appearance by “Suzy Strawberry”

Brochures and Nutritional Information

11 am till 1 pm


Date:  Friday May 12, 2017

Location:  Charlotte Regional Farmers Market

Strawberry Day

“Free Samples” NC Strawberry Ice Cream

Brochures and Nutritional Information

11 am till 1 pm

Strawberry Day Events sponsored by the NCDA&CS Farmers Markets, The NC Strawberry Association, The NC Dairy Promotions Committee and The NC Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services

2017 Scholarship Applicants


The intent of this scholarship is to promote future leadership in the strawberry industry. Applicants should be high school seniors or current college students accepted to or currently enrolled in a land grant university who are interested in or have declared a major in a program of study directly related to the strawberry industry (for example,
small fruit production, marketing, food science, nutrition,
entomology, agronomy, etc.). Applications from family
members of NCSA members, both in North Carolina
and in other states, are encouraged. The application must
be emailed or postmarked on or before May 1, 2017.

For scholarship details and application forms, click on link:  2017ScholarshipApplication


Place your order TODAY!  Order signs, Strawberry Time coloring books and other promotional materials from the NC Strawberry Association

We print materials based on preorders from our growers and may not be able to fulfill late orders.

Promo Order Form 2017 download PDF

Promotional Catalogue Items 2017 download PDF

EMAIL order form to Kristy Phillips –

or MAIL order form to NCSA, PO Box 543, Siler City, NC  27344

2007 Strawberry Dessert Contest Winners

First Place: Carolina Strawberry Tiramisu
by Amanda Boury, Raleigh, NC

4 cups strawberries
1 Tbsp. vanilla syrup
3/4 cup amaretto liqueur
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup whipping cream
Cocoa powder

Puree 2 cups of strawberries. Whip whipping cream until soft peaks, whip in mascarpone cheese, vanilla syrup, and amaretto. In a large bowl or other deep dish, place a layer of ladyfingers which have been soaked briefly — less than a minute — in pureed strawberries. Add a layer of sliced strawberries and then a layer of the whipped cream mixture. Repeat. Top with cocoa powder. Chill for 2 hours before serving.
2nd Place: N. C. Strawberry Dessert
by Sarah Spaugh, Winston Salem, NC

1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Combine crust ingredients, pat in 9 x 13 inch pan and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool.

First Layer:
1-1/2 package cream cheese, softened (8 oz. size, 12 oz. total)
1 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups Cool Whip
Mix well and spread on chilled crust. Chill again.

Second Layer:
1-1/2 cups sugar
5 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2-1/4 cups 7-Up or Sprite
1-3 oz. pkg. Strawberry Jell-O
1 quart or more sliced fresh N.C. strawberries
1-pt. whipping cream
3 Tbsp. pulverized sugar
Jumbo strawberries for garnish
Combine in saucepan the sugar, cornstarch, salt, 7-Up, and water. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat and add Jell-O. Cool, then add strawberries. Put over first layer. Refrigerate. Whip whipping cream, add pulverized sugar. Spread whipped cream over strawberry layer. Top with jumbo strawberries for garnish.
Third Place: Strawberry Almond Pound Cake with Almond Cheesecake Filling
by Mary Boury, Knightdale, NC

Krusteuz pound cake mix
2 tsp. pure almond extract
2 cups chopped strawberries
1 tsp. vanilla
Prepare pound cake as directed. Fold in strawberries, vanilla,and almond extract. Bake; may need additional baking time. Cool completely. Slice layers horizontally into 4 layers.

Philadelphia Ready-To-Eat Cheesecake Filling
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pure almond extract
2 cups sliced strawberries
Stir vanilla and almond extract into cheesecake filling. Layer pound cake, filling, and sliced strawberries. Chill
Children’s Category: Strawberry Cake
by Taylor Prince, Raleigh, NC

4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pkg. strawberry Jell-O
1/2 cup water
1 pack French vanilla cake mix
1-1/2 cups fresh NC strawberries (needs to be frozen)
Mix first 5 ingredients and then mix into cake mix. Beat well. Put into two round layer pans and Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Crush frozen strawberries and put between layers.

1 stick butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
half-and-half or cream, as needed
1/2 cup (or more) strained strawberries
Cream butter with sugar, adding cream as needed to obtain proper icing consistency. Add strawberries. Mix together and spread on cake.

Source of Recipe: Passed down from great grandma

2008 Strawberry Dessert Contest Winners

2008 NC State Farmers Market Strawberry Dessert Contest Winners

These recipes and many others may also be found in the “Recipes” section of this website. If you are interested in receiving information about next year’s contest, email

1st Place Winner: Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

By Cathey E. Lane, Raleigh, NC

Fruit Layer & Puree:
5 Cups Fresh NC Strawberries, sliced in half
Strawberry Cake Layer:
1 box Pillsbury Moist Supreme Strawberry Premium Cake Mix
3 medium eggs, whisked
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1 cup strawberry puree (5-6 large strawberries pureed in a blender with 1/3 cup of water)
Cheesecake Mousse Layer:
1 envelope Dream Whip Whipped Topping Mix, prepared as directed and set aside
½ cup skim milk (can also use 2% or 1% milk, soy milk)
½ tsp. vanilla
1 box (3.4 oz. size) Jell-O Cheesecake Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie filling mix
1-1/2 cup skim milk (can use soy milk)
1 can Whipped Light Cream

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans with Pam Baking Spray. Blend cake mix, eggs, oil and water in a large bowl until moistened. Add strawberry puree and beat with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth. Pour equal amounts of batter into pans and bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks. When completely cooled cut cake into 1 to 1-1/2 inch squares and set aside until ready to assemble the trifle.

Cheesecake Mousse Layer: Combine pudding mix and milk in large bowl. Blend for 2 minutes until smooth and thickening. Fold the prepared whipped topping into the pudding. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the trifle.

Assembling the Trifle: Using a Trifle bowl or a large clear fruit bowl, fill in layers as follows:

Layer of fresh sliced strawberries (about 2 cups)
Thin layer of cheesecake mousse (about 1-1/4 cups)
Layer of strawberry cake cubes
Thin layer of cheesecake mousse (about 1-1/4 cups)
Layer of fresh sliced strawberries (about 2 cups)
Thin layer of cheesecake mousse (about 1-1/4 cups)
Layer of strawberry cake cubes

Refrigerate. Just before serving, top with whipped cream and garnish with fresh strawberries.

2nd Place Winner: Strawberry Heavenly Crunch Cheesecake

By Donna Barefoot, Benson, NC

Strawberry Sauce:
2 cups finely chopped strawberries
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar Crust:
1-1/3 cup Shortbread Sandies (crushed)
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. melted margarine
1 can condensed milk
¾ cup water
1 small box cheesecake pudding & pie filling
2-8 oz. boxes of the new strawberry cream cheese spread
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Cook strawberries with cornstarch and sugar until thick and set aside. Mix crust ingredients well and press into an 8 inch spring form pan. For filling, cook 1 can condensed milk, 3/4 cup water, and cheesecake pudding & pie filling 2 minutes and set aside. Cream cheeses, add eggs one at the time, and stir in vanilla. Add 1st filling mixture to this and mix until combined. Pour over crust. Bake 55 minutes at 375 degrees. Spread strawberry sauce over top. Chill & Garnish with French vanilla whip cream.

3rd Place: Alice’s Strawberry Heaven

By Alice Waiden, Wake Forest, NC

3 cups sliced fresh NC strawberries (sweetened)
1 regular container of cool whip
1-8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 lge. box of vanilla instant pudding mix
3 cups of cold milk
1 box of vanilla wafers

Slice three cups of fresh strawberries and toss with sugar to sweeten. In a separate bowl mix three cups of cold milk with 1 box of vanilla pudding mix until thick, then add cool whip, cream cheese, and condensed milk. Stir until well blended. Using a trifle dish place one layer of vanilla wafers, then on top of the wafers goes the fresh strawberries followed by the pudding mix, Layer in this order until all ingredients are used ending with the pudding mix. With remainder of the cookies, crush fine and sprinkle on top of entire dessert and garnish with whole strawberries.

2009 Strawberry Contest Winning Recipes

Strawberry Delight

First Place Winner by Kathy Crank, Raleigh, NC

1-1/2 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick + 2 Tbsp. melted butter
Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Lightly grease a 13” x 9” pan. Combine first three ingredients. Pour in melted
butter and stir until well blended and flour mixture is moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared
pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until crust is lightly browned. Cool before adding the filling mixture.

1 8-oz. block cream cheese
12 oz. Cool Whip whipped topping
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Combine, using a mixer, cream cheese and sugar. Add in whipped topping and beat until smooth and fluffy.
Scrape sides of bowl to make sure all of cream cheese is incorporated. After crust has cooled, pour in filling
mixture and spread evenly to cover entire crust. Place in refrigerator until topping is ready to add.

1 small box strawberry Jell-o
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups boiling water
4 cups sliced strawberries
Mix first three ingredients together in medium sized pot. Add water and cook on medium heat until
mixture thickens to gel consistency. Remove from heat, stir in strawberries. When mixture cools spread
evenly over top of filling. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Strawberry Devilish Cupcakes

Second Place Winner by Jessica Phillips, Raleigh, NC

1 box devil foods cake mix (like Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1-8oz. container cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups fresh strawberries, pureed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Make the cupcakes according to package instructions. Lightly grease the muffin tin and fill the batter
almost to the rim of each muffin cup. Bake according to package directions and let cool.
In a mixer combine the cream cheese, butter, strawberries, sugar and vanilla extract. Process the mixture
until smooth. Transfer the strawberry icing to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. Push the tip gently into
the bottom of a cupcake and squeeze the strawberry icing until the cupcake plumps. Frost the top of the
cupcake with icing. Continue with the remaining cupcakes.
Garnish each cupcake with a sliced strawberry.
Alice’s Strawberry Lemon Cream Bliss

Third Place Winner by Alice McFadden, Wake Forest, NC

1 box white cake mix
1 cup of chopped fresh strawberries
1 small box of strawberry Jell-o
2/3 cup of oil
4 eggs
3 Tbsp. of cake flour
1/2 Jar of lemon curd
1 cup of diced strawberries (sweetened)
1 cup sifted 10X powder sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
8 oz. package cream cheese
12 oz. container Cool Whip
Additional strawberries for garnish.

Mix and pour cake ingredients into two 9 inch pans and bake at 350° degrees for 30 minutes.Beat icing ingredients for ten minutes until all sugar has melted.

To Assemble Cake: On first layer spread lemon curd and then on top of that 1 cup of strawberries, then add second cake layer. Spread icing on top and sides of cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries.