Saturday 16 December 2017

Bumper strawberry crop is in safe hands

Elaine Keogh

IRELAND is set for a bumper harvest of strawberries – ironically thanks to the cold spring and slow start to summer.

"I can honestly say we are set for a bumper crop of Irish strawberries and the quality of them is just superb," says Pat Clarke, whose family has been growing strawberries in Meath for 50 years.

Fresh from a successful appearance at the Bloom festival in Dublin, Mr Clarke said: "The temperatures have been low this year but the fruit looks and tastes very good.

"I think you have to say the glass is half-full not half-empty and I believe nature is kind and the proof is that the berries this year are first class," he added.

A Bord Bia spokesman agreed, saying "the longer the strawberry is on the plant, the sweeter it will be".

There are now three generations of the Clarke family involved in running the 50-acre farm and some 100 people are employed.

This year Pat says they will produce 800 tonnes of strawberries.

Irish Independent

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