|Summer = strawberries|
That's right, tennis fans, that incredibly hot April we had may have done even more damage than we thought. In addition to out-of-season sunburn and the chore of having to unpack summer wardrobes early, the temperature has apparently also impacted on the strawberry growing season. Strawberry farms across the south are reporting that the plants are cropping earlier than in the last decade and may peak before Wimbledon. Firstly, how quaint does a 'strawberry farm' sound? They must surely be the preserve (pun intended) of little squirrels in gingham shirts and other such Tales from the River Bank characters. Secondly, I note the article is full of 'may' and 'could' and 'perhaps' - I'm pretty sure that you get strawberry varieties that crop at different times through the summer and surely some farms will have produce for Wimbledon? Frankly, I'm amazed that the overpriced strawberries at Wimbledon are actually British-grown anyway - surely a larger profit margin is to be had from shipping in under-ripe Elsanta's from Holland and Spain and giving them the briefest of introductions to some mass-produced cream? Or is that too cynical?
What I find the more interesting part of the article is the news that pick-your-own farms are reporting an increase in the number of people stuffing themselves in the fields and effectively only paying for half what they've picked - making it more like pick-your-own-and-eat-it-so-you-only-pay-for-what-you-pack. I can't believe that this hasn't always been a problem for PYO farms so I'm not sure why it's being reported on now. What I can't understand is why, if people want to pick their own strawberries, they don't employ a GYO (grow your own, dummies!) attitude.
|Established fruit from last year|
|This pot holds some of the plants we propagated from runners last year - they're looking very promising!|