Strawberries With Your Tennis?

The first crop of strawberries to tempt the tennis fanatics at Wimbledon were picked at 5am yesterday at Hugh Lowe Farm in Kent. It was the first picking of the 1.4million fruit needed for the SW19 tournament. They might go some way to pacifying those Brits expecting to see Andy Murray grace the first round!

Hugh Lowe will produce 33 tonnes of strawberries during the entire competition, all complying with strict Wimbledon criteria. 'What are those?' I hear you ask. The fruit collected must be 25mm - 45mm in diameter, ripe and defect free. Forty pickers carefully selected the berries and they were delivered to the All England Club's headquarters in South West London for 10am yesterday to be 'hulled' and split into punnets of ten. How English! The owner of Hugh Lowe Farm, Marion Regan, told the Sunday Times magazine last weekend that the family business had been selling strawberries since 1893 when her great-grandfather grew his first crop for the family stall at the old Covent Garden market in East London.

Fans (or should I say 'spectators') at last year's Wimbledon event also saw-off 2,198 afternoon tea hampers, 17,170 portions of fish and chips and 117,507 pints of lager, beer and cider, though with the CO2 shortage, it might be less this year. Meanwhile, the players fuelled themselves with 4,235 servings of good old Italian pasta, 1,416 portions of Japanese sushi and 2,195Kg of West Indian bananas. No wonder the food and beverage department at the All England Club say it takes 50 weeks of planning to prepare for the Wimbledon tennis fortnight.

Anyone for strawberries? 


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