Dawson County residents now have a new place to go to find fresh, locally grown strawberries, right in their backyard.
For the first time ever, Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawson County has started selling fresh strawberries and homemade strawberry baked goods and according to farm owners, people can’t seem to get enough.
“This is our first year doing strawberries,” said Casey Sanders, daughter of farm owners Johnny and Kathy Burt. “We planted a coupleacres of them and there’s been a rush of people coming to get them.”
Sanders said that the family decided to branch out to strawberries this year so that they would have a crop specific to the spring season, and in addition to selling the strawberries themselves, the farm has started making several different types of strawberry-based treats.
“We make strawberry fried pies, milkshakes, lemonade, shortcakes, jam, strawberry rolls with cream cheese icing — and we make all of it from scratch here, even down to the crust on the outside of the pies,” Sanders said.
One of the biggest challenges of growing and selling fresh strawberries, according to Sanders, is keeping up with the demand of customers. According to Sanders, due to demand from the community, the farm has been forced to bring some fresh strawberries in from South Carolina.
Another challenge has been the weather, she said. Rainfall the area has received lately has hinders their ability to harvest strawberries.
“You can’t pick the strawberries in the rain, and they bear every three days so it’s a good bit of work just keeping them picked,” Sanders said.
Along with the strawberries, the farm will be incorporating other fresh produce in the spring and summer months.
“We’ll be doing strawberries, tomatoes, corn, okra and green beans,” Sanders said. “Then we’ll be having peaches in mid-June.”
Burt’s Pumpkin Farm has been in operation since 1972, and it is truly a family operation. Sanders explained that she and her brother Russell have been working on the farm since they were children, and that her aunt and cousins now work with them as well.
“We’ve all done this for a long time, we enjoy it, and it’s good to be together as a family,” Sanders said. “We’re just very blessed and thankful to the Lord for what he’s done for us, and we always try to give him the credit.”