Jens Bennedsen, a strawberry grower in the Danish Harres could only harvest 70 percent of what he was able to harvest in previous years due to the persistent heat. Due to the warm spring the strawberry season started earlier than usual this year. "It went so quickly we weren't able to pick them all. The faster they ripen, the longer it takes us to go down all the rows," says Bennedsen. "At a certain point we had to decide to leave a large number of strawberries and pick the best ones at the very least."
Bennedsen grows four different strawberry varieties, of which a number aren't supplied to retail. "Our Coronas are intended solely for individual picking, we don't sell them to shops. They're too sensitive for that. They have a lovely scent, however, which makes them extremely popular among those who come here to pick them themselves."
Dependent on demand
Around half of Bennedsens turnover comes from the strawberries he sells the retail. This means he is largely dependent on their purchasing. "It's noticeable that the strawberries are a few weeks earlier than usual. There is normally a higher demand in the holidays, but now the strawberries are ripe before them and the demand just isn't there," explains Bennedsen. "We're lucky the strawberry season is still persisting or it would have been a real disaster. I'm glad we have some sunshine again after a few days of wind and rain, so we're able to harvest for another few weeks."
Kristian Krogh, who runs Kroghs Grønt with his wife Dorthe, is happy they grow five different strawberry varieties. "We're less vulnerable than others because we have various varieties that ripen at different times. This normally gives us a longer strawberry season, but this year the ripening periods were close together," says Krogh. "We're lucky with our varieties. We're able to supply strawberries for the next two weeks, but it's hectic when you have weather conditions like this."
Strawberry grower Henning Elneff in Løgunkloster only grows the Polka strawberry because it's popular among customers. This makes him very dependent on the weather conditions and means he has a short harvesting period.