The blueberry crop at Trehane’s PYO Hampreston plantation has already broken records by fruiting two weeks earlier than ever before. It is now also set to be the biggest crop on record.
Owner Jeremy Trehane explains the bumper crop as a combination of great weather and completely natural growing conditions.
“It’s been an incredible year for growing blueberries,” said Jeremy. “A virtually frost-free winter was followed by a mild spring and early flowering allowing the fruit to also set early. The recent warm weather then ripened the berries faster than usual resulting in a bumper crop of our delicious Earliblue and the sweet Collins varieties.”
This perfect crop comes just as Jeremy celebrates the 50th anniversary of his PYO blueberry plantation – incredibly still picking from many of the original plants imported by his father from New Jersey, USA, back in 1964.
“In America they ‘retire’ their blueberry bushes as unproductive after around 30 years, “ said Jeremy. “For us they just seem to keep on growing! As we were the first nursery to plant blueberries in the UK there is no UK comparison, but I firmly believe that the continuing success of our fruit is down to being totally naturally grown. We do not use any artificial fertilisers or pesticides and even our water comes from our own spring”.
Trehane’s blueberry bonanza is a real bonus for fresh blueberry fans many of whom travel long distances to enjoy the freshest of fruit straight from the bush or fill their freezers to benefit from the fruit’s proven antioxidant properties throughout the year.
Four years ago blueberries overtook raspberries to become Britain’s second most popular fruit and commercial production has increased by nearly 500% in the last six years in a rush to meet increasing demand. “In America July is feted as national blueberry month,” said Jeremy. “As the increasing popularity of these tasty little berries continues to grow over here perhaps it is time to introduce a British blueberry day?”
Trehane PYO is currently open every day 10am–4pm. It is in Stapehill Road, near Wimborne, next door to Knoll Gardens. Call 01202 873642 to confirm availability.