Strawberry farmers ruining idyllic countryside?

An interesting headline grabbed my eye while I was riding the Underground in London last week: “Anger at strawberry growers – Wimbeldon’s fruit farm is berry ugly”.

Anger? At berry growers? I found that hard to fathom so I had to read the story and what I read left me shaking my head.

The Wimbeldon tennis tournament is on this week and eating strawberries is an integral part of attending the matches; in fact, more than 28,000 kg are expected to be consumed during the two week event.

In order to ensure enough strawberry production, the farm in question is growing the berries in 200 metre long plastic tunnels. The farm owner says the tunnels are essential to producing soft, appealing fruit, but local environmentalists are upset.

According to the article, the farm is being accused of “littering” the countryside with plastic waste and of putting up the tunnels close to residences. Complaints are also being made about the noise of the flapping plastic, light that glares off the tunnels and their “ugly” appearance.

Seems to me to be yet another example of people who don’t understand the ins and outs of growing fruits and vegetables – yet I’m sure they are also the same people who would complain if fewer berries were available or they weren’t as soft, as beautiful or as tasty as they demand.

You can’t have it both ways, folks!


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