Manatee growers hold charity strawberry U-pick April 6-7

vmannix@bradenton.comApril 2, 2013 

MANATEE -- Want to buy some strawberries and help out a worthy cause at the same time?

Wish Farms will open its strawberry farm at 37381 State Road 62, Duette, to the public 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for an annual charity strawberry U-pick with proceeds going to Redlands Christian Migrant Association.

"Labor continues to be a real issue for farmers, especially as we near the end of our Florida strawberry season," said Gary Wishnatzki, president and chief executive of Wish Farms. "With ripe ready-to-pick fruit sitting on the strawberry plants, we thought, why not turn the situation into something positive and allow an opportunity for local charities to benefit."

Strawberry fans will be able to pick berries for $5 a flat, which includes the donation and crate costs. Food banks supplying their own

containers will be allowed to pick for free with organization documentation.

Proceeds fund RCMA child care and early education for children of migrant farm workers and rural, low-income families.

"Wish Farms' annual strawberry U-pick event does so much good," said Barbara Mainster, RCMA executive director. "People not only get access to inexpensive, nutritious fresh fruit, but they gain an appreciation of the labors that farm workers contribute.

"And of course, this event benefits the children that RCMA serves."

Founded in 1922, Wish Farms is a year-round strawberry and blueberry supplier, shipping more than 4 million flats of strawberries, 6 million pounds of blueberries and 1 million packages of vegetables a year.

For more information about Wish Farms, visit or go to

Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055.


What: Wish Farms annual Charity Strawberry U-pick

Where: 37381 State Road 62, Duette

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Information: Visit

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