If you’re on the Outer Banks during springtime, there’s one place that locals and visitors alike absolutely must visit. Just over the Wright Memorial Bridge on the mainland, there’s an inviting sign that reads “Strawberries,” and a smaller sign below that that reads “Open Today.”
Turn right after the sign. The road is called Pine Lane, although almost no one knows that. About 200 yards up, turn right again onto the dirt road with the strawberry banner to enter strawberry heaven.
It’s Mr. Malco’s strawberry patch, an approximately two acre, family-friendly place where you will remember or learn for the first time just how amazing a freshly picked strawberry tastes.
A visit to Mr. Malco’s strawberry patch has been an annual rite for many Outer Banks residents for years and years. Although you are supposed to pay for the strawberries before indulging, most children in the patch already have crimson stained faces. The field is bustling with families, the young and the old, and parents are showing their kids how to identify a ripe strawberry, how to pick it, and most importantly, how to eat it.
2014 may have been the best year yet for strawberries. Maybe it was the uncharacteristically harsh weather, or the delay in real springtime weather, but the strawberries that year set the bar ridiculously high. We expect the fields to be open during the first week or two of May of this year. Mark your calendars!
Photo (Leah Britt)