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JCVB Blog

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau BLOG is published weekly with news and feature articles on visiting the county.

Looking Forward to Spring in JoCo

Looking Forward to Spring in JoCo

 

 

 

 

 

 


1. Picking strawberries. This activity is perfect for families with little ones. Johnston County has a few working farms that open their fields to pickers, or just show up and buy them pre-picked by the bucket. Click here for a list of berry farms and farmer's markets sure to have this sweet, red fruit.

 

2. With the weather turning warm and breezy, Spring is a great time to enjoy the Beer, Wine, and Shine Trail. In the Spring months our family-owned, award-winning vineyards are green with grapes growing on the vine and waiting for the late Summer harvest. Sit on the porch and enjoy a chilled glass of wine and take home a bottle of your favorite. Don't forget that April is NC Beer Month. Johnston County's breweries will have special release beers and great weekend events happening in celebration. Visit the Beer, Wine, Shine Trail website to learn how to travel along the trail and then click on each trail location's website for more information on events and products.

 

3. For parents of young, energetic kids it's been a long winter of being cooped-up indoors due to the weather. Take the family outside to explore, play, and learn. The Neuse River also offers an excellent opportunity for canoers and kayakers. For a list of places in Johnston County to hike, bike, and play visit our Nature & Recreation page.




4. Explore Johnston County's Downtown areas. All of our historic downtowns are very walk-able with shops, restaurants, and museums. You never know what sort of unique treats your might find, like the Hills of Snow snow cone which is a local, seasonal favorite - opening in March. Spring also starts our festival season. You can learn more about all our events here.




 

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S is for Spring and Strawberries

S is for Spring and Strawberries

I enjoy a good strawberry - perfectly ripe, red and sweet, but not too mushy. It's like biting into the sweet moment between Spring and Summer. All that aside, I don't think about strawberries much. And unless it's April in Johnston County, I don't write about them either. However, in the year that I have been writing and working for the Johnston County Visitors Bureau I have been astounded by the number of people who LOVE strawberries.

No other post on this blog or on the JCVB Facebook page amasses likes, loves, shares, and general interest like the one time of year I post about strawberries. What is it about this fruit? Is it their flexibility in cooking - good in anything from BBQ sauce to cupcake icing? Is it the idyllic picture they present of warm days during childhood spent in a berry patch? Could it be that the strawberry is the favorite fruit of most people, a hypothesis yet untested by science? I may never know. But, what I do know is that these delicious red berries are in season and it's time to celebrate.
Strawberries and Cream Scones
Lucky for you strawberry lovers, The Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce has been busy planning The Annual Strawberry Festival. The festival takes place Saturday, April 23rd from 9am – 4pm and is one of the biggest events in the Cleveland Township. This year's event will be even bigger. There will be an assortment of vendors, businesses, arts & crafts, face painting, games for all ages, and a ton of food including stuffed strawberries. Yum!

There is no admission charge to this event thanks to wonderful, local sponsors. So, if you're passing through make sure to stop in for red, ripe strawberries and fun! This event takes place right off of I-40 at exit 312. And let's not forget that the festival includes local farms selling strawberries - you can buy some to make the recipes provided below. Let us know how your strawberry and cream scones turn out, or share pictures of your other strawberry creations over at our Facebook page.

Strawberry Sangria

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Stout Brownies

Strawberries and Cream Scones

Strawberry Banana Popsicles


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Tis the Season... for Strawberries

Tis the Season... for Strawberries

Tis the Season... for Strawberries

There is a festive time of year when a southerner can dig out the ole family recipes, stock up on ingredients of red and green, and roll up their sleeves in the kitchen. No, it's not Christmas! It's strawberry season!

The Greater Cleveland Area Strawberry Festival is this Saturday, April 25th from 9am to 4pm and we hope you all will make time to join in the festivities! There will be Games, Entertainment, Vendors, Arts and Crafts, Pony Rides, Camel Rides, and Food. It's fun for the whole family and you can find out more by visiting the festival's Facebook page here.

Strawberry Pickin' Fun for the Family

A good southern knows the value of hard work and that doesn't start in the kitchen. It starts in the field, where you pick the strawberries you'll later whip into delicious dishes. Dishes that will certainly taste even better after the experience of strolling rows of lush green strawberry-laden plants. With the warm sun on your skin you'll pick only the best berries for your kitchen, like the most discerning of professional chefs. Below we have provided the information of two places in Johnston County where you can go pick your own strawberries.

Smith's Nursery
443 Sanders Rd. Benson, NC 27504
T 919-934-1700 | smithsnurseryinc.com

Beasley's Berries
428 Peele Rd. Clayton, NC 27520
919-553-6928

Enjoy Your Strawberries Sweet or Spicy

You've no doubt noticed the berry, berry strawberriness of our Facebook posts this week. Just in case you lost those family recipes mentioned at the top, we wanted to provide you with some fun and fruity recipes. From a crisp, to a poptart, to donuts, to BBQ sauce, we think we did a pretty great job picking simple and unique ideas. If you missed them on social media, click the links below for these recipes and a ton of others. And if you feel so inclined, we'd love it berry much if you'd share pictures of your strawberry concoctions on our Facebook page here.

Krispy Kreme Strawberry Shortcake

Glazed Donut Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Crisp

Strawberry Nutella Poptarts

strawberry nutella poptarts

Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce

b2ap3_thumbnail_Strawberry-BBQ-Sauce-500-8153.jpg

 

 

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Strawberry Picking -- a Fun Family Outing

Rows of ripe strawberries are waiting at Smith's Nursery, located in the McGee's Crossroads Community. Rows of ripe strawberries are waiting at Smith's Nursery, located in the McGee's Crossroads Community.

Strawberries are one of nature's perfect and sweet fruits that can be used in many different recipes that will surely delight your family.  If you are looking to get out of the house after winter is finally gone and spring is here to stay, a visit to a local strawberry farm is a great idea. Let the kids head up a row of strawberry plants with a bucket and they can pick and eat as they go (a little dirt won't hurt them!).  Johnston County has several local farmer's offering pick-your-own or pre-picked berries, so if you are in a hurry...just drop by and load up.  Find the tasty fruit at Smith's Nursery and Strawberry Farm, Beasley's Berries, 701 Farm Market, and the Clayton Farm and Community Market. For more things to do this spring on local farms, visit www.johnstoncountync.org/agritourism.

History of the Strawberry

The name Strawberry was derived from the berries that are "strewn" about on the plants, and "strewn berry" eventually became "Strawberry".  They really are not berries or fruit at all, but enlarged ends of the plant's stamen. Strawberry seeds are on the outer skin, instead of in the inner berry, and there are about 200 seeds per berry.

The berries are non-fat and low in calories, rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, fiber, and vitamin B6. Over history the strawberries have been used in medicines, for sunburn, discolored teeth, digestion, and gout. As far back as the 13th century, the Strawberry was used as an aphrodisiac.  American Indians allegedly invented Strawberry shortcake, mashing berries in meal to make bread the colonists enjoyed--but they must have used wild strawberries since strawberries have been cultivated in America only since 1835. The Hoveg variety was imported into Massachusetts from France in 1834.

For a variety of strawberry recipes, stay tuned in to our FACEBOOK posts this May like this popular Strawberry Pie (which went viral last year on FB):
 

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Beer Wine & Shine Trail

beer wine and shine trail logo

Travel around the county to four award-winning wineries, two breweries and get a taste of brandy along the way!  Receive a Free $30 coupon book when you complete the trail.

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Meeting Planners

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Johnston County offers conveniently located and affordable conference facilities for meetings, reunions, and unique destination weddings sites.  Why not select a historic home or horse farm for your next event?

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Group Tour Operators

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Groups have discovered exits along I-40 and I-95 for outlet shopping, music theatre, museums and heritage sites.  Call today for custom itinerary planning.

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Hotel Packages

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We have created several special hotel packages including a Girlfriends Getaway for outlet shopping, we know you need a break and great deals on shoes!  Click here to book your getaway today.

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