July 27th, 2010

Berries

Blueberries

News story here : Sales of blueberries have overtaken those of raspberries
is riddled with wrongness! 

Britain is mostly on alkaline soil?  That'll be a surprise to all the specialist growers of rhododendrons and azaleas - and to all the people working to try to eliminate invasive wild rhodos from acidic British soils!   It surprised me, as I am currently eating handfuls of whortleberries (a close relative of the blueberry) on most of my walks. You need to be careful how many you put in a muffin though.  Otherwise you end up with a sort of grey squishy pudding.  Very tasty, but not a thing of beauty!

I'm dubious about the idea that the plants are beset with pests too.  So far as I can see, the reason that some fruits (raspberries, strawberries gooseberries, currants) are grown in Britain and some aren't so much (figs, blueberries, kiwi fruit etc) is simply that in Britain, land is very expensive and so is labour.  This is not a cheap place to grow any kind of fruit commercially, and fruit growing has been in decline for generations. Most fruit plants take years to establish, so there is little incentive for growers to experiment with new species.

In other news, I've just eaten an apple from the early apple tree: very red, but rather too tart still.  Give it another week or so.   I had to fight my way through undergrowth to get there though - could really do with a couple of days to just mow and chop nonstop, with no rain!