Tennessee strawberry farmers modify businesses, ready for customers

Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee strawberry farmers are making modifications to their operations so customers can be safe while picking their berries.

Pick-your-own farms in Tennessee are modifying operations this season by providing fruit already picked and limiting the number of people in the field at a time. Some farms are offering online ordering or order-by-phone and have implemented pick up, drive-thru or delivery options.

MORE ONLINE: Prepping for strawberry pickers: Local farm taking precautions during COVID-19 pandemic

“We have planted more acres in strawberries this year to ensure we can provide many more berries than in the past two years,” Will Perry, of Smith-Perry Berries in Hamilton County, said. “We have researched best practices for farms during these unprecedented times, and we will follow all recommendations. Our produce stand parking lot will be the sales area this year. Customers can stay safely in their cars, and we will serve them in a drive-thru format.”

Strawberry pickers can call growers to find out when their patch is ready to pick and any adjustments to hours and buying options. You can also find farms through the state’s Pick Tennessee Products website or the free Pick Tennessee mobile app.

Depending on the weather, the typical strawberry season lasts four to six weeks.

“We want to assure our customers that we are abiding by CDC standards to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Jimmy McCulley of Amazin’ Acres of Fun in White County said. “We have hand-washing facilities for customers who want to pick their own strawberries. For customers who come inside the market, we have tape on the floor showing 6-foot distancing and have installed plexiglass on the countertop separating the customer from us.”

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