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Strawberries ripen a month early thanks to warm winter

Because of the warm winter, strawberries in Middle Georgia ripened a month early this year / Shannon Lilly (WGXA)

LIZEELA, Ga. -- While some crops suffered from either the warm winter or the late freeze, Middle Georgia strawberries turned out great.

According to Debra Elliot with Elliott Farms, strawberries ripened a month earlier than usual because of the warm winter. They are also larger than normal.

Elliott said they opened their farm for picking a on March 1, the earliest in all 21 years she's owned it.

It's good business for Elliott since pickers have an extra month to buy their berries.

Cindy Carter said her family comes about twice a month to pick fresh strawberries. They're happy to have a few extra weeks to pick the fruit.

"It's just a part of what we do," Carter said. "Once the strawberries are ready we're out here like they said at least a couple of times a month because strawberries are good for you. They have a lot of Vitamin C and we eat all we can and a lot of different ways."

Carter also added that picking their own fresh strawberries taste better than store-bought ones.

Elliott said she put blankets over the crops when the late freeze hit to keep them healthy.

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