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Farmer does a deal to sell off strawberries
A LOCAL farmer is offering a berry good deal to families wanting to pick their own fruits.
Norman Parry, of Lotmead Farm, near Wanborough, has struck up a deal with Groupon, to offer local people a 3kg box of strawberries for £10.
It comes after the pick-your-own farm was forced to delay its opening date this year after the cold temperatures severely affected the strawberry crop.
Norman now has less than a month to shift the remaining fruit before the season ends.
“We have got an enormous crop of strawberries here and we only have a three-week period in which to shift them,” said Norman, who began working on the farm in 1985.
“We were delayed in opening because it was so cold, so we lost sales at the beginning, and we are now in some pretty dodgy weather so we are grasping every opportunity we can get to sell the strawberries now.
“We have absolutely stacks of beautiful strawberries, they are lovely and we have so many of them, but if they sit there in the rain they will just deteriorate so the quicker we can sell them, the better.”
Norman held the offer through the online discount company over the weekend.
“It was very successful,” he said. “Some people were getting £17 worth of strawberries in their strawberry box, but the more polite were just filling their boxes.
“The ideal weather for us would be the sunshine so we can get the pickers out here.
“We expect this particular crop to finish mid-July.”
The cold and wet weather also played havoc with the farm’s asparagus crop earlier this year, with low soil temperatures brought about by rain and cold nights delaying the vegetable’s season.
This year’s situation was in contrast to last year when Norman was experiencing a bumper crop of strawberries in May following the warmer February.
Nationally, production yields were up by 150 per cent on previous years and, for Norman, it was the earliest strawberry season since he began working at the farm in 1985.
Lotmead Farm is open seven days a week from 9.30am to 7pm. For more information call the 24-hour hotline on 01793 790137.