What is in this article?:
- Celebrating specialty crops, Strawberry Fest attracts huge crowds
- Direct sales strong
- Strawberry festival celebrates sweet spring.
- Annual event attracts over 100,000 visitors from across the state.
- Direct sale of fresh strawberries from farm-to-consumer remains strong.
In spite of drought conditions over much of Texas and a few days of scattered severe weather in South Texas, strawberry producers in and around Poteet are reporting plenty of fresh, sweet strawberries were available for the annual Poteet Strawberry Festival held April 12-14.
Each year the annual event attracts over 100,000 visitors from across the state who are often willing to drive long distances to participate in the state strawberry capitol’s famous event, arguably Texas’ sweetest festival.
Poteet, located just south of San Antonio, sits on the eastern reaches of the Texas Winter Garden region and is noted for artesian wells that supply water for farming operations. While the current drought cycle has taken its toll on agricultural operations in general across the region, Poteet’s famous strawberry operations continue to do well because of high consumer demand, and as a result of the large number of family farms in the area that allocate available water first to strawberry fields and also enjoy direct farm-to-market relationships with loyal customers.
“Just about every strawberry grower in Atascosa County has struggled with the drought, but between well water and just enough timely rains, we managed to struggle through and produce another good strawberry crop. Some folks lost some plants and others complained more water would have made the season better, but we’re still getting strawberries out of the field,” reported one of the festival workers over the weekend.
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Indeed, judging by heavy crowds that swarmed into this rural community with a resident population of just over 3,000, there were a lot of strawberries produced this year. Festival officials only allow “Poteet growers” to sell berries on the fairgrounds and there wasn’t a shortage of local farms represented. Strawberry booths were kept busy throughout the weekend with large crowds gathering to taste sweet treats like strawberries and cream, strawberry shortcake, strawberry jellies and jams, cakes made with fresh strawberries and, of course, to purchase flats of the sweet delights freshly handpicked from the fields.