Many people know Scotland is best for strawberries and raspberries, but there are also producers growing blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, cherries, elderberries, blackcurrants, whitecurrants and redcurrants.
Berries are bursting with goodness, rich in antioxidant vitamins, phenolic compounds, minerals and fibre, and also low in fat and salt, making them a great way to get that 5-a-day.
Scotland’s soft fruit history stretches back over 100 years – and many of us remember summers spent with red hands after days of picking strawberries and raspberries during the school holidays.
The main berry growing areas are in Perthshire (Blairgowrie has long been known as ‘Berry Town’) and Angus but also in Aberdeenshire, Fife, the Highlands, Ayrshire and Arran and the Scottish Borders. So no matter where you are in Scotland, you are bound to find fresh, tasty – and most importantly, healthy – berries.
And many shops, cafes and restaurants use these locally grown berries in dishes that wow their
customers. Then once you have tasted how good they are, you can pick your own or pick up a punnet from your local shop. You can even freeze the berries you pick or buy so you can enjoy them even when the growing season is finished.
The reason Scotland is the perfect place to grow berries is, believe it or not, the weather. The cooler conditions, coupled with the longer daylight hours, are ideal for berry growing and means that berries grown in Scotland can be produced longer than many other providers.
And many farmers use polytunnels to protect the berries from harsher conditions when the weather turns.
Soft fruit production is so important to Scotland that many farmers are using cutting-edge technology to ensure the best possible harvest, including drones and creating new species of
fruit better equipped to cope with conditions.
Scotland’s reputation for producing berries is second to none, so whether it’s strawberries and cream while you watch Wimbledon, a healthy smoothie or a yummy cake, make sure you add some Scottish berries to your next tasty treat.