By Staff Report

Wish Farms, the largest grower and shipper of Florida strawberries, opens its farm to the public for an annual charity strawberry U-pick with all proceeds going to Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA).  The two-day event will be held Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the company’s strawberry farm located at 37381 S.R. 62, in Duette (head south on S.R. 39 from Lithia Pinecrest Rd. until you reach S.R. 62. And make a right)

At the strawberry U-pick, strawberry lovers will be able to pick their own berries for only $5 per flat, which includes the donation and crate costs.  In addition, food banks that supply their own containers will be allowed to pick for free. (Charitable groups must present documentation of their organization upon arrival.)

“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 CEO 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.”

Money raised by the event is donated to RCMA, an organization that provides quality child-care and early education for children of migrant farm workers and rural, low-income families throughout Florida.

“Wish Farms’ annual strawberry U-pick event does so much good,” said Barbara Mainster, RCMA’s 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 in the South Hillsborough area.”

Wish Farms, founded in 1922, is the largest grower and shipper of strawberries in Florida and has been for over 50 years.

For more information about Wish Farms, please visit or


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Kelly Legg has been writing for the Osprey Observer as a freelance writer for three years, and has recently taken on the role of managing editor for the Christian Voice newspaper. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications. She currently resides in Riverview with her husband and three children.