September is here! Within a week the schools will be back, children kitted out in new school uniforms and exhausted parents celebrating wildly. And for the first time ever we’ve still got strawberries to pick as the summer holidays end. What a long season it's been! In this post I’ll have a look back at how our first summer growing indoor strawberries has gone...
Half way through the summer I filmed a quick video from inside a tunnel to explain why they’d become such a hit:
Even with 4 x 100m tunnels to pick from, the total amount of indoor strawberries here is still only 10% of the outdoor patches, and so the tunnels get picked out 10x faster. This has meant that during this 11 week season, we’ve opened the tunnels just twice a week - usually a weekend day then a week day - to allow the fruit to ripen between pickings. Even after restricting the openings like this, more often than not the tunnels have been picked out and closed by lunch-time on those days they're open. Demand has definitely out-stripped supply!
Such intermittent availability isn't ideal for folks trying to plan a visit too far in advance, but it's pleasing to see how understanding the vast majority of you have been as together we all get used to how our indoor strawberries behave - thank you! The ability to update our website with real-time availability has been a big help, and most customers are now getting used to checking it before setting off.
If you didn't make it this year, at least you'll know for next year: you've the whole length of the summer holidays to experience the joys of picking your own strawberries! In the meantime, with the busy summer season drawing to a close and a calmness descending on the Farm Shop and Cafe, I hope to see some of you down here for a quiet brew in the near future.
James Bulmer, 1st September 2019