Saturday 21 September 2019

Big plans for stawberries

THE QUEST for the perfect strawberry is hotting, up with Ballindaggin grower Jimmy Kearns seeking to more than quadruple the area of land he has under Spanish tunnels. The tunnels, which comprise frames for removable plastic covers, are designed not so much to keep the fruit warm as to provide cover against the rain so the berries are picked in ideal conditions.

The farm at Curraghgraigue already has almost 0.4 hectares of Spanish tunnelling and the plan is to add a further 1.4 hectares. The enterprise in Ballindaggin is one of country's most significant strawberry growing enterprises, supplying most of the major supermarket chains.

Wexford growers, who have already extended their harvesting season to more than six months, are working to produce a Christmas strawberry to knock the imports from foreign countries off the shop shelves, even in mid-winter. They have been negotiating with the county council for abolition of planning levies on the glasshouses, which will help them achieve their aim.

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