Thursday, June 19, 2008

U-Pick M

More evidence it's not Mrs. Miniver's England anymore:
Anyone who claims to have picked their own strawberries and resisted the temptation to secretly gobble a particularly juicy specimen is almost certainly lying.

And for 50 years, Hacker's Fruit Farm was content to put up with a smidgen of deceit as people made their way through rows of plants weighed down by the brightly-coloured fruit.

But the manager has now ripped up the entire crop after becoming fed up at people gorging themselves for free on what was supposed to be his livelihood.

Mark Spight said he had been losing a quarter of each year's yield to greedy punters at the farm in Dry Drayton, Cambridgeshire.

Some families were stuffing themselves with up to £15 worth of the summer fruit, costing the business as much as £225 every day.

'The cheek of people was unbelievable. People were treating it like a giant open buffet,' he said.

....'We spotted one family sitting in the field with a bowl of water to wash them and then a bowl of cream they were dipping them in.

'One woman came up to the counter, covered in juice on her trousers, up her arms and even in her hair. But she handed over a punnet with four strawberries in.

'A mum walked into the shop with her family and her sari was bulging with fruit. But her husband handed over an empty basket saying they couldn't find any.'

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