Strawberry season begins early in Central Virginia

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CROZET, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Tuesday was the first day for strawberry picking at Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet. Thanks to the warm weather, the fruit has started to ripen early.

Employees at Chiles Peach Orchard have been watching the field closely, looking for any signs of ripening in the strawberries. With a couple of warm days behind and ahead, the strawberries have really started to turn red.

"The warm weather really brings on the ripening process," said owner Cynthia Chiles. "It's actually a very early season this year. We had a warm winter as you recall and an early spring, so this is probably two weeks earlier than normal for strawberries."

With an early season comes early pickers. Chiles Peach Orchard may be expecting a big crowd for the weekend.

"Everybody has been calling and waiting for strawberries," said Chiles. "It's kind of the first crop of the year, and kids are ready to get out and pick, and families are ready to get out and do something fun so we think that we will have a good turnout."

The Virginia strawberry season ends in June.

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