It's strawberry season

May 23, 2018

Strawberry season has begun for the farms who grow and sell soft fruit at our farmers markets in London and for you who love to eat them.

Some farm conventionally, some are organic, a couple are biodynamic. And look out for our giant strawberries handing out samples at different locations around London.

strawberry promotion with costumesIf you’ve always taken your strawberries for granted, spare a thought for the growers. It’s not as easy to produce a crop of luscious berries as you may think.  Some of our growers waited a long time for enough good weather so that they have a large enough crop to bring to London. Watch Julian Mead talking about his strawberries here

There are amazing varieties of strawberries at all of our markets. Julian Mead from Fiveways Fruit Farm agrees that there is a difference between the fruit sold at farmers markets, and those at supermarkets.

Julian says

‘With supermarkets there is a certain amount of delay between the time fruit is picked and the time it’s on display. Some stock in the system will be in store, some on lorries, in depots etc.  If I was buying blind I’d recognise the product at farmers markets because it’s fresher.'

strawberries cu on strawGrowing strawberries isn’t easy. Julian knows that horticulture is a people based industry,

‘We’re only as good as the people we work with, from pickers to planters. With strawberries you’re picking it, packing it, looking after it at market, a set of stages, looking after the fruit. ‘

We used to dislike Elsanta too, until we discovered that the Elsanta grown and sold for supermarkets is a very different beast to the Elsanta at our farmers markets; straight to market really does make a difference. We have many growers and many varieties; do ask what’s on sale and compare for yourselves.

From farm to market, Five Ways fruit is picked the day before; into pack house, it’s weighed, quality checked, and left in their cold store after being allocated to markets. The next day they start at 5.30am to drive to market.

2014 Perry Court Farm first strawberriesVarieties to look out for this year include;

From Chegworth Valley
Red glory
Snow white

FiveWays are growing
Flair (early)
Sonata and Elsanta

Millets Fruit Farm say;
'From the traditional varieties Elsanta , Sonata , Malling Centenury  we have 2 new varieties to offer to customers this year. Ever bearers Murano and Price. We always trying to offer something new and different . The reason for choosing these two is - continuously fruiting between June and as far as end November. Lovely fruit , very tasty.'

Perry Court Farm are growing;
Early  Vibrant, Malling Centenary, Christine,
Mid season   Sweetheart, Alice, Elegance, Symphony, Florence
Ever bearers   Finesse, Flamenco and Malling Opal

You'll also see strawberries on other farm stalls including Wild Country Organics, and Berry Hill Farm.