If you have bought strawberries in Florida lately you may have noticed one thing different about them - they have been sourced from Florida. That's right, Florida strawberries are back in season and they are as juicy and delicious as ever before.
Most people know about Florida oranges and the many other citrus fruits commonly grown here, but those who are lucky enough to know about the strawberry season anticipate its arrival every year - probably because there is truly nothing better than locally sourced produce.
As the local strawberry season grows in popularity so do the many events centered around it. Plant City has their very own strawberry festival which has been taking place since the 1930s, and it is truly a strawberry-lovers dream-come-true. The Florida Strawberry Festival is an 11-day community event celebrating the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. Each year, over 500,000 visitors enjoy the festival’s headline entertainment, youth livestock shows, rides, exhibits of commerce and, of course, all the delicious strawberry infused desserts.
Additionally, there are several U-Pick locations for anyone interested in a fun day in the sun hand picking the juiciest fruit straight from the vine. Most of the these U-Pick locations are open for the entire strawberry season (December-April) but some commercial spots only allow public pickings at the end of the season.
In the Tampa Bay area, Florida Strawberry Restaurant Week takes place from January 21 to February 3 and will be featuring an array of local restaurants showcasing tons of delicious ways to utilize those fresh Florida berries.
As if that was not already incentive enough to dine at one of the participating restaurants (listed below) during Florida Strawberry Restaurant Week guests can compete for special prizes by taking selfies with the featured dish or beverage and posting their photos on their social media accounts and tagging images with #flstrawberryselfie2019. Each post earns points that will make contestants eligible for some “berry” nice prizes. The Grand Prize winner will get a VIP weekend for two at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort.
Let's be honest, it's a great excuse for a selfie.
And the strawberry-infused opportunities don't just end there - Farm Star Living is having a Florida strawberry sweepstake. On January 31st a winner will be chosen to receive a $500 gift card plus a - you guessed it - Florida strawberry gift basket.
To enter you just fill out a small form on their website with your name, email address, and zip code, agree to their terms of service and that's it! You are entered. You have unlimited chances to enter and can earn additional entries easily by sharing on your social media.
Florida Strawberry Growers Association Winter Berry Love Giveaway. Prize is a $500 gift card and Strawberry-themed prize package. https://t.co/uXX0XlqlXR— ✨Kat McQuaid✨ (@KouponKat) January 10, 2019
The best part about it all? Even if you don't want to go out to any events you can take a trip to the local market and still enjoy some homegrown goodness.