Not a berry cherry Christmas?

We stayed on a Yorkshire cropping farm in June.

They finished planting potatoes when we were there, 10 weeks after they started. Last year the crop had been planted in 17 days.

The season hasn’t got any better:

Frost and ice have added to an already tense situation for potato growers in Britain as many battled against the elements to finish lifting.

Indications from the Potato Council said crop production was at its lowest since 1976, with yields down 25% from last year.

But farmers said a 50% loss was more likely.

And farmers across all sectors have struggled with the cold weather, especially in Scotland where up to 15cm of snow fell in some areas as temperatures sank as low as -7degC. . . .

A cold wet spring and early summer here have affected stone fruit and berries.

Cherries are expected to be in short supply for Christmas and berries could be too.

We’ve been getting strawberries from the North Island and I had my first raspberries of the season from Butlers near Waimate but North Otago berries still aren’t ripe.

But the temperature got to the mid 20s yesterday and the forecast is for warmer weather which is what’s needed if there are to be local berries for Christmas dinner.

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4 Responses to Not a berry cherry Christmas?

  1. Neil says:

    Potatoes will be expensive in the south this Christmas. We had a very nasty unexpected frost early in November taking out home gardeners spuds as well as commercial growers.
    I had covered mine and will have potatoes for the big day. however they are about four weeks slower than normal. Anything above the ground is growing well but root crops no.

  2. Bulaman says:

    We had some Butlers’ raspberries yesterday coming back from daughter’s graduation at Otago. Flavour fairly indifferent I’m afraid. 28 degrees today so far which will concentrate the flavours…

  3. Gravedodger says:

    Strawberries are very slow but will have a few next week Raspberries are in good order we are setting them in Jelly as it gives them a longer shelf life and reduces the rather excessive amounts of icing sugar with the cream.
    2nd day in the 30s here in paradise, thanks be we have plenty of water.

    Potatoes are very late, may have to buy for the 25th but if the Mayans are right we wont need to..

  4. TraceyS says:

    We have spuds coming out our ears! I put their survival down to almost 100% pure cow poo manure from the shed from winter. The heat from continuing decomposition just enough to keep the frost off.

    Heaps of blackcurrants and gooseberries and a bumper season ahead for apples and plums. Lots of kiwifruit flowers but no honey bees to pollenate. Where are all the bees anyway??

    What a good idea Gravedodger to set berries in jelly. How long do they last. I will try that.

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