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  • Writer's pictureLinda Andrews - Editorial Assistant, Nuse Online

Cream Of The Crop - First Strawberries Of 2024



It is a sure fire sign that summer is on the way - the first Hampshire-grown strawberries of 2024 have been harvested and have hit the shelves at a Meon Valley farm shop.


The arrival of the super-sweet, famous Westlands strawberries brings memories of long, lazy summer days, Wimbledon tennis and picnics on the beach. It’s a strawberry harvest to bring a smile to everyone’s lips.


There is now no need for shoppers to rely on high food-mile strawberries shipped in lorries from Spain and Morocco when they can get Hampshire grown and harvested, sweet strawberries at Westlands Farm Shop near Wickham once more.


And with a strawberry and raspberry growing and picking season running right through to late October early November there will be plenty of fruit to go round right throughout this summer and beyond.


Shop manager Harry King said Westlands’ soft fruit is always a top pick for the shop’s customers.

“Our strawberries are by far one of our most popular products - they’re very quick to fly off the shelves."

“You can even see the glasshouses where these strawberries are grown from the window of the farm shop - keeping our food miles to a minimum and the shelves well-stocked for months.”


During summer of 2022, Westlands farm harvested a record-breaking 200 tonnes of strawberries and raspberries - keeping shelves stocked all the way through to mid-November.

 

Westlands’ Graham Collett said he is expecting another successful soft fruit season in 2024.


Graham said:

“We harvest an enormous amount of soft fruit throughout the year. Even if the weather is hot and dry, our own water reservoir means we can irrigate the plants using collected rainwater."

“We’re a family-owned business committed to ethical and sustainable farming. Stocking our shelves with produce we’ve grown and picked ourselves means a lot to us - it’s so important we encourage our shoppers to support local agriculture.”


Westlands Farm Shop is based in the Meon Valley and offers a range of locally sourced groceries and gifts as well as its own butchery.


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