We moved on to tunnels described “as a bit of fun” where Sandy was experimenting growing red and white grape varieties that could harvest 2 or 3 years earlier than conventional vineyards.
The strawberry plants here were only a few weeks old, Sandy explained how he could tell the size of the crop from the emerging flowers.
Finally to the ripening strawberries where we sampled different varieties and noted the names so we could identify them in Sainsburys, Waitrose and Aldi.
There is an Automatic tilting system that makes harvesting easier and allows the pickers to use 2 hands
An enjoyable and fascinating visit and well worth the 2+ miles walked. We thanked Sandy for his time and he thanked us for coming with a large punnet of fresh strawberries for each of us.
Some facts about the farm
Both bumble and honey bees are introduced to the tunnels at the appropriate times to assist pollination.
All the plants are grown in containers off the ground and fed with nutrients from the extensive irrigation system. Sandy is experimenting harvesting the strawberries using a robot. He is also working to produce a snack product to make use of the small fruits not suitable for the supermarkets.
Click on any picture to enlarge it
Due to the Covid, it has been 20 months since we have been able to enjoy a visit to an AHA selected venue. Therefore, we have no reports for the May Newsletter, but what we do have is an update for you!
Wow, are we all ready to put on our sun hats and go out and play?
The AHA Committee met recently to discuss ideas to revive the AHA group and we are feeling optimistic to arrange future events. We will be taking it very slowly by keeping relatively close to Andover and staying to outside venues until the Country can be made free to move around without restrictions.
We plan to arrange a visit for Friday 25th June ’21, so please keep this date free, come on put it in your diary! Details of this visit will follow within the next week as we are just in the process of gathering the relevant information.
The AHA Committee are really looking forward to seeing existing Members, also to see some new Members of Anton U3A.
The following is very much of what you already know, and I am sure that many of you have been doing. We want to make our trips as close to what we have considered to be normal and to ensure that everyone is comfortable with arrangements. For those who are comfortable with car sharing can do so, but you and your passengers must wear a face mask whilst in the car. We are presuming due to our age group that everyone has had their two vaccinations, but if for any reason you have not, it may be wise for you to travel separately. Please contact me if anyone has any concerns. In addition, whilst you are within a enclosed environment you are also required to wear a face mask.
We will continue with our recommendation of cost towards car sharing as this is only fair to help with the fuel and any parking charges. As we have done in the past, we will show the recommended cost on the information sheet issued prior to the event and it is up to driver to recover any cost.
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible and in the meantime please stay well and safe.
(Contact No: 07570 962 112)
AHA – Co-ordinator
The third Zoom meeting of the Group was held on Monday 10th May. There were 5 participants in all. The theme was ‘Water’.
All the portfolios showed imagination and flair with an emphasis on river scenes. Covid restrictions precluded much other outside activity – along with recent bad weather.
The second Zoom meeting of the Group was held on Monday 12th April. Apart from the inevitable hitch, it seemed to go smoothly with 5 participants in all.
The theme was ‘Yellow’. All the portfolios showed imagination and flair with several interesting photographs – and no daffodils (because everyone thought someone else would have taken them!)
The portfolio with most votes was by Pam Liberson. John Hawke obtained the most votes for best picture with Pam’s ‘Pussy Willow’ a close second – taken using a mobile phone.
Click/tap the images to enlarge them.