The strawberries are ready…
I’m not going to lie, it’s tough growing strawberries.
It all starts at the end of the previous season.
We cut off the old leaves and leftover fruit before diligently watching the water frequency and fertiliser levels to ensure the correct amount of fruit are ‘set’ on the plants during September for the next year.
There is also the bug that eats bigger bugs that we add to the water, as the bad bugs rather enjoy chewing into the root of the plants which, as you can imagine is rather detrimental to the plants.
The following spring, we clean off the dead leaves and start watering again, add more bug eaters and begin watching out for any insects beginning to creep in, which they inevitably do.
Once I start to see green fruit appearing, the moulds and diseases start to appear, if not kept in check, these can completely overpower the plant and we lose the crop.
See what I mean? It’s tough, and that’s why there’s genuine cause for celebration when we see the fruit ripening and plants looking healthy – we know that after all the hard work, we’re now just days away from sampling the delicious fruit.
This year’s been the usual challenge, but I’m delighted to say that our small team have overcome all the hurdles, the weather’s played ball (just) and the strawberries are now ready – come over and pick your own!
Nothing really beats eating the fruit straight off the plant (I know, naughty!). I do love it when our raspberries ripen too. I blend and strain the raspberries, add some icing sugar to the ‘sauce’, then pour it over the strawberries before topping it off with some local double cream.
I’d love to hear about how you enjoy your own strawberries, whether is just with cream, or a glorious recipe that’s been handed down to you, please hit reply and let me know.
Make sure you give us a visit and pick your own – I can testify to how good they are!
All the best,
Rees (The Farmer)
Partner, Over Farm
Photo courtesy of Little Cheltenham