A partnership between the Kroger Co. and Jackson Farming Co., Autryvile, N.C., will mean locally grown strawberries and melons this season at 16 supermarkets in the Raleigh-Durham area known as the Triangle.

Jackson Farming, in operation since 1981, is a family owned business that has grown from a melon patch Kroger goes local with Jackson Farming produceto become a year-round grower, packer, shipper and broker of fresh produce, according to a news release from Cincinnati-based Kroger.

In the growing season, Jackson Farming ships about 50,000 flats of strawberries. Later in the summer Kroger, will offer melons from Jackson Farming to boost its locally grown section in produce aisles around Raleigh-Durham.

Jackson’s Autryville location is about 50 miles south of Raleigh. Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic advertising manager Carl York said in the release that means the chain can provide fresh produce that “comes directly from our backyard.” Kroger may expand offerings to include other commodities from Jacksons, which produces pumpkins, broccoli and sweet potatoes in addition to melons and strawberries.