Gooseberries are not widely grown in Scotland, but a grower based just outside Cupar grows 10 varieties on 5 acres.
Euan Cameron of Pittormie Fruit Farm grows a variety of niche fruits on the farm, as well as traditional vegetables. Fruits include strawberries, black currants, red currants, Tayberries, loganberries, blueberries and brambles.
“Every year is different for our gooseberry production, and the demand is also a bit unpredictable. We used to grow 20 acres of gooseberries, most of which were sent to a cannery, but since that shutdown demand has dropped. We now supply both retail and wholesale as well as our on-farm store customers,” Euan said.
“The Scottish season runs from the end of June to mid-August. We are later than the English season which means we can supply when the English currants are finished. We are a small producer, so we don’t try to compete with the bigger berry producers and focus on niche products. »
Labor is also a constraint to production, although there are enough pickers to harvest the fruits, Euan has started growing more vegetables in recent years than they can harvest themselves.
“When the fruits are ripe, they should be picked right away, and gooseberries in particular are not easy to pick, but vegetables can be harvested over a longer period.”
For some produce, like currants, there is competition from Dutch imports, but Euan supplies Mark Murphy/Total Produce, who always take Scottish produce when available.
For more information:
Pittormie Fruit Farm
Tel: +44 1334 870 233
Email: [email protected]