The Santa Maria Valley is sweet as well as sizzling, as fresh strawberries join Santa Maria BBQ as one of the region’s signature flavors.

Now, KSBY Television has turned the spotlight on the valley’s sensational strawberries in advance of the annual Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival on April 23-25.

Anchor Jeanette Trompeter visited the local strawberry fields with grower Daren Gee and produced a segment on Santa Maria Valley strawberries for her “No Place Like Home” news series, which aired last night. As Daren noted in the segment, the Santa Maria Valley’s uniquely moderate and steady coastal climate is ideal for growing some of the world’s finest strawberries.

According to the most recent Santa Barbara County Crop Report, 7,193 acres of strawberries were harvested in 2008. More than 90 percent of these acres are located in the Santa Maria Valley. Total field value for local strawberries in 2008 exceeded $309 million. More than 10 strawberry varieties are grown in the Santa Maria Valley.

Thanks to Jeanette and KSBY for this sweet segment on Santa Maria Valley Strawberries.