In 2022, we harvested a record breaking number of strawberries and raspberries during our soft fruit season.

Throughout the year, we harvested over a whopping 200 tonnes of strawberries and raspberries which was a 250% increase on 2021.

We loved being able to supply our customers with even more locally grown produce while encouraging the reduction of food miles within the local community.

Despite it being an extremely hot and dry summer, we combated the challenging environment because of our water reservoir which was installed during 2021, holding the same amount of water as an Olympic sized swimming pool.

This meant we were able to supply homegrown strawberries to local customers until mid-november. 

The reservoir collects winter rainwater from the cattle shed roofs and polytunnels on the farm to water crops, even during the hottest of summers. It also helps to reduce the pressure on local water supplies which was very important throughout the drought. 

The installation of the reservoir meant we were able to extend our polytunnels by an additional 15,000 square metres.

Graham Collett, farm shop owner, said: “It was certainly a challenging season this year with temperatures reaching highs, as well as experiencing a drought. 

“But with the reservoir we were able to harvest a huge amount of soft fruit this year, much more than we were anticipating. We absolutely loved seeing our customers enjoying our strawberries and raspberries. Being able to supply more of it than previous years was brilliant. 

“We were also very fortunate that our crops didn’t suffer from the drought. Because of the reservoir we were able to protect local water supplies while still feeding all of our soft fruit.”

Producing homegrown food means we are displacing food imported from abroad to reduce food miles, which is a very important part of our sustainable ethos. 

You can also read about this story the The Portsmouth News. For more information about Westlands Farm Shop, please get in touch here.

Farm team leader Paul holding strawberries