EDITORIAL: Spring: the goodliest time of the year

Apr. 24, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

Fall is a stunning season, when the leaves lose their green shade and take on vibrant hues from all colors of the rainbow. The temperature dips and the days get shorter — leading us into the holiday season.

Winter has its advantages. There may be no sight as moving as a pristine snowfall — or our family and friends gathered together for Christmas.

But spring, when we’re shaking off the chill and admiring the world as it comes back to life, is something special. It has to be the goodliest time of the year — at least for taste buds.

In Central Carolina and throughout the state, we eagerly await strawberry season — the arrival those delicious, red berries that are nature’s own candy.

Some would argue that strawberries are best as the mainstay of a cobbler or a frosted cake. However, many would hold that the fruit needs no flourishes or embellishments to be enjoyed — just ask anyone who’s taken a big, juicy bite of a berry fresh off the vine.

Area residents are fortunate to have strawberry fields galore within close proximity. Whether we collect the berries ourselves or let a local farm do the picking, a visit to one of these establishments is a pleasure — and a feast for the senses.

The strawberry season is generally short, lasting a month to six weeks, but there’s no need to fret; it’s merely the start of the spring-summer period when other goodies are soon to follow.

For instance, our Sandhills region will soon yield another treat — succulent peaches. How sweet it is to be located so close to acres of trees that produce such delicious fruit.

And area gardens and farms will soon burst forth with tomatoes, beans and peas, cabbage, potatoes, sweet corn, broccoli, squash, okra, watermelons and cantaloupes. And those looking for an alternative to the typical grocery shopping experience can try the Sanford Farmers’ Market, where they can find many of their favorite items from 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays at Depot Park in downtown Sanford.

Locals wanting a steady supply of homegrown goodness can sign up for the 2014 Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative, which will allow them to receive weekly or biweekly boxes of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Visit www.sandhillsfarm2table.com for details.  

So, it’s easy to see that the strawberry season is the beginning of the “deliciousness” season.

This has to be the goodliest time of the year.