Bumper crop of summer strawberries

Jasmine Chesters with some of the crop at Ashford Fruit Farm

Jasmine Chesters with some of the crop at Ashford Fruit Farm - Credit: Archant

A North Devon fruit farm is overflowing with strawberries during one of its best years ever.

Ashford strawberries

Ashford strawberries - Credit: Archant

Thought to be the last ‘pick your own’ strawberry farm in the region, Ashford Inn Fruit Farm and Nursery is experiencing an especially ripe year for the luscious and tasty red fruit.

Jasmine Chesters, who owns the farm together with Richard Jenkins, said there had been an abundance of strawberries and of a very high quality.

In one strawberry season, from April to September, the 14-and-a-half acre site will see 22,500 strawberry plants sowed in polytunnels, producing more than 40 tonnes of fruit.

“I think they are better than last year,” said Jasmine.

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“Weather-wise and plant-wise it has been brilliant – we have been here 15 years and it’s one of the best times that I have known.

“As I understand it we are the only ‘pick your own’ this side of Exeter and a lot of people say to us that they have never done it before.

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“I think over the years our crops are getting better and we have learned to manage and water them properly.

“Our season is extending, but whether that’s down to management or the weather, I don’t know.”

With Wimbledon starting this week, Ashford is expecting its busiest time, as tennis fans nip down to the strawberry farm early in the day to collect their fruit in time to sit back and enjoy the daily matches.

Ashford is open daily from 9am and 10am on Sundays.

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