The Lanarkshire nursery leading strawberry growing in Scotland
Richland Nurseries in Cleghorn produce year-round harvest of Elsanta variety
John Hannah’s family have grown soft fruit at Cleghorn’s Richland Nurseries since 1938, but now John and his wife Louise are the Clyde Valley’s only remaining strawberry growers. They produce both spring and autumn crops of the all-rounder Elsanta variety in two vast heated glasshouses, with two polytunnels in use to fill the summer gap.
Farming their juicy, ruby-red strawberries is not an exact science, Louise says, because ‘no two years are the same: there are so many elements, like Mother Nature.’ Their largest, half-acre greenhouse suns 20,000 strawberry plants, with flowers pollinated by bees hived in cardboard boxes.
‘The bees don’t fly here – they come by courier,’ Louise jokes. But despite the size of the task, she’s still undaunted by harvesting: ‘We pick daily, to deliver daily, so the customer has the freshest strawberry possible.’