Walking to Plot107 this week was a bit like a jungle trek with weeds on unused plots at head height. It’s frustrating trying to keep your own plot free from weeds when there’s neighbouring plots stacked high with them and ready to spread seeds across the site – meanwhile the recent weather has been ideal not just for weeds but for lots of produce on the allotments.
This weeks also been good for fruit on the plot – managed to harvest the first of the gooseberries (which made a rather lovely crumble with custard, thanks to my wife Angela and her cooking skills!) and the wild strawberry plants are putting up loads of their mini strawberries. Not to be outdone though the cultivated strawberry plants are also well down the line of producing fruits. I must admit I always enjoy being able to pick and eat a strawberry straight from the plant – it reminds me of past trips to PYO (Pick Your Own) strawberry fields, I used to like the one in Ecclesfield but now the only reference to it being a farm is the name of the pub there!
As the tennis at Wimbledon has started this week as (not that I’m a huge tennis fan) it made me think about how we associate Strawberries in particular with something that somehow seems to say “English summertime”, weather its strawberries and cream, or strawberry jam on scones with butter, they just seem to shout out a particular picture of “English middle class-ness” – but on looking up facts about strawberry production for this particular blog post, I was hit by the figures on world strawberry production and harvest.
In 2010 the world production of stawberries was over 4.3million tonnes, now that’s a lot of strawberries! And the biggest producers of strawberries in the world? ….. USA (1.2 million tonnes), Turkey & Spain(0.3 million tonnes), Egypt, South Korea & Mexico (0.2million tonnes)
I can’t compete with that …… still I bet mine taste nicer!