Fruit: Sweet Treats Harvest


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Fruit: Sweet Treats

Gregg Wallace and Philippa Forrester visit a pioneering cherry grower in Herefordshire. Gregg also gets involved in the Scottish strawberry harvest.


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All over the country, the race is on to bring this our food. It's harvest

:00:07.:00:15.

time! Gathering in the bounty of the land is the most crucial event in

:00:15.:00:20.

the countryside calendar. Now, as this year's harvest reaches

:00:20.:00:25.

its climax, it's time to see exactly what is happening with all our

:00:25.:00:29.

crops. Seeds of life to sustain us, fresh

:00:29.:00:35.

vegetables pulled from the Earth, fruit that is our sweet treat - all

:00:36.:00:41.

conjured up from Mother Nature. We will be discovering the remarkable

:00:41.:00:45.

craft and magic of farming, and finding out just where our food

:00:45.:00:49.

comes from. No matter how clever farming

:00:49.:00:51.

becomes, our crops are still at the No matter how clever farming

:00:51.:00:58.

mercy of the weather. Harvest 2012 was a disaster. After

:00:58.:01:04.

record summer rainfall, crops failed and prices spiralled. Can 2013

:01:04.:01:08.

record summer rainfall, crops failed our farmers back on track to deliver

:01:08.:01:13.

the food we all rely on? As the harvest comes in, we will reveal the

:01:13.:01:19.

results. This time, we're getting a taste of

:01:19.:01:22.

British fruit. We will discover which of our sweet

:01:22.:01:29.

treats has had a vintage year. Welcome to Harvest 2013.

:01:29.:02:00.

We're in beautiful Herefordshire at the, height of the cherry harvest.

:02:00.:02:05.

For me, it's all about the growing and the quality. I could never

:02:05.:02:10.

produce fruit like this at home, and definitely not on such a massive

:02:10.:02:13.

scale. We've been tracking the progress of

:02:13.:02:17.

the cherry crop on this farm all year. Now we are here to bring you

:02:17.:02:23.

all the action from the harvest. It is a delicate business: it

:02:23.:02:28.

requires high-speed precision picking and high-tech processing and

:02:28.:02:32.

packing. Gregg, you're going to have your

:02:32.:02:34.

work cut out today. You're joining Gregg, you're going to have your

:02:34.:02:39.

the harvest team. 40,000 of these they pick per day. Are you up for

:02:39.:02:44.

that? Are you fit and strong enough? Can I say, you watch! Actually, UK

:02:44.:02:51.

cherry growing is growing through a renaissance at the moment. Over half

:02:51.:02:55.

the cherry we eat are imports but British growers are fighting back,

:02:55.:02:58.

and these guys are at the forefront of that revolution. We will also be

:02:58.:03:05.

finding out how to grow super sweet strawberries, and witnessing the

:03:05.:03:09.

sheer speed of the blackcurrant harvest.

:03:09.:03:10.

Growing anything is always a gamble harvest.

:03:10.:03:16.

with the moods of Mother Nature. To food experts Stefan Gates gives us

:03:16.:03:20.

some of the scientific secrets of success.

:03:20.:03:24.

2013 has been an extraordinary year for our fruit crops. Starting with

:03:24.:03:29.

the long cold winter, and then the very late spring.

:03:29.:03:36.

We've been following the struggles of Herefordshire farmer, Andy Hunt.

:03:36.:03:43.

How has this year's weather affected the cherry harvest. We will bring

:03:43.:03:46.

you the results from this farm and all around the country. We will

:03:46.:03:52.

discover who has won and who has lost in Harvest 2013. All we're

:03:52.:03:58.

missing now is farmer Andy. I know he's out there somewhere worrying

:03:58.:04:03.

about his cherry. Let's meet him. Andy Hunt is a farmer with a

:04:03.:04:09.

singular talent for trees. He started out as a cereal farmer, then

:04:09.:04:16.

turned to vegetables. 35 years ago, Andy found fruit, and now he is a

:04:16.:04:22.

pioneer for a new method of growing cherry - whole orchards under cover.

:04:22.:04:27.

The cherry tree requires a great deal of care and attention.

:04:27.:04:34.

We consider almost every tree as an individual, so we have 60,000 trees

:04:34.:04:39.

that we have to care for. I've always been keen on precision.

:04:39.:04:44.

In my own garden, I like straight lines.

:04:45.:04:48.

I am even sat at the table rearranging my cutlery, which is all

:04:48.:04:53.

very sad, but that's me. What I find about fruit farming is

:04:53.:04:58.

that you have to be very precise. We build tunnels which are effectively

:04:58.:05:04.

buildings over your trees. So everything has to be planned, and

:05:04.:05:11.

that really suits my nature. Andy Ravishes months of meticulous love

:05:11.:05:20.

on his trees, but he can't pick the crop alone. At harvest, he's joined

:05:20.:05:24.

by 250 pickers and packers. Although there is a real buzz on the farm, it

:05:24.:05:29.

can be quite stressful. Tempers can be a bit fraught. We are all

:05:29.:05:33.

determined people here. Some people might say even obsessed about

:05:33.:05:37.

getting the fruit in. It is very important to our futures at the

:05:37.:05:40.

getting the fruit in. It is very of the day. The whole business is

:05:40.:05:43.

about getting the cherry picked, packed, and sold.

:05:43.:05:53.

This is where it started, is it? It is - 20 years ago. This is the first

:05:53.:06:00.

cherry we ever planted on the farm. Why cherries? We knew there was a

:06:00.:06:05.

market out there because all the cherries we eat in the UK is

:06:05.:06:08.

imported, simply because of our weather. They are difficult to grow.

:06:08.:06:11.

Nature tends to throw everything at the cherry. Is it a particularly

:06:11.:06:15.

Nature tends to throw everything at tricky one, the cherry, do you

:06:15.:06:18.

think? Yes, it's been the most difficult challenge I've faced as a

:06:18.:06:22.

grower. And all that knowledge and the rest of it didn't save you last

:06:22.:06:27.

year. Was last year awful? Yes, last year, we had incredibly low light

:06:27.:06:30.

levels which had an effect on the taste of the cherry, and of course,

:06:30.:06:36.

cherries are all about taste. I love about you, it's a complete love

:06:36.:06:39.

affair between you and the cherry, isn't it? It is, it has become

:06:39.:06:42.

affair between you and the cherry, passion, to be quite honest.

:06:42.:06:45.

Elsewhere in the orchard, pickers are hard at work harvesting the

:06:45.:06:51.

cherries. This year, things are busier than ever. The unusual

:06:51.:06:56.

weather has brought mixed blessings for Andy. He's got a bumper crop of

:06:56.:07:01.

cherries, but they've ripened all at once. In a normal year, the British

:07:01.:07:07.

cherry season lasts two months, but this year, he's faced with

:07:07.:07:12.

harvesting 40 million cherries in just five short weeks. The race is

:07:12.:07:16.

on. So what is it about the cherry that makes it so aluring? And why is

:07:16.:07:27.

it so difficult to grow? Not so long ago, cherries were our favourite

:07:27.:07:30.

summer fruit. Their tantalisingly short harvest only added to their

:07:31.:07:34.

appeal. The Romans were the first to

:07:34.:07:41.

cultivate them in orchards across southern England. But growing

:07:41.:07:44.

cherries commercially is tough. To produce a good crop of fruit, the

:07:44.:07:54.

trees need a lot of looking after. Our traditional cherry orchards were

:07:54.:07:58.

not fit for the supermarket age. The 60-foot trees were hazardous to

:07:58.:08:01.

pick, and, exposed to the elements, there was always the risk a whole

:08:01.:08:06.

crop could be lost to birds or the weather.

:08:06.:08:12.

The cost and unpredictability of the home harvest sent supermarkets

:08:12.:08:17.

looking abroad. By 2000, only one in ten of our

:08:17.:08:21.

British cherry farmers were still hanging on.

:08:21.:08:27.

Something had to change. These trees have shrunk because they

:08:27.:08:30.

look nothing like those massive ones we've just seen on that piece of

:08:30.:08:35.

film. Why? So we can pick them. It is the simple answer. The main

:08:35.:08:39.

reason we can achieve a small tree is by growing them on a rootstock.

:08:39.:08:42.

It is a dwarfing rootstock which controls the height of the tree.

:08:42.:08:49.

You've got the root from one one cherry tree and the rest from

:08:49.:08:52.

another and stuck it together. You can see it down there. This is what

:08:52.:08:58.

they one cherry tree and the rest from another and stuck it together.

:08:58.:08:59.

they one cherry tree and the rest You can see it down there. This is

:08:59.:09:02.

what they call the "union". Here is the rootstock, here is the tree. The

:09:02.:09:05.

bulbous by the in the middle is the join? Yes, it sort of grows like

:09:05.:09:08.

that, and it grows on. So the roots are governing how far the tree

:09:08.:09:10.

grows? Absolutely. Is it more productive, would you say? Very much

:09:10.:09:13.

more productive. What you're doing now is producing a tree that's

:09:14.:09:18.

relatively small, hasn't got an enormous amount of wood or leaf, and

:09:18.:09:22.

it can put its effort into producing fruit. Everybody that grows trees

:09:22.:09:26.

for commercial harvest will grow them with this type of rootstock. It

:09:26.:09:30.

has revolutionised the UK cherry business. In, modern trees are three

:09:30.:09:36.

times more productive than the older ones.

:09:36.:09:39.

Before we find out what it takes to get the cherries off the trees,

:09:39.:09:41.

Before we find out what it takes to let's look back at what it took to

:09:41.:09:45.

get here. The story of our cherries actually

:09:45.:10:01.

starts way back in winter. I enjoy this time of year. It is

:10:01.:10:09.

cold and crisp. You've got plenty of wildlife. The trees appear to be

:10:09.:10:13.

standing there idle, but, actually, within the tree, there is a lot

:10:13.:10:19.

happening. The January snow was great news for Andy because each

:10:19.:10:24.

cherry tree needs a precise of chilling through the winter months

:10:24.:10:28.

to produce blossom in spring. And then fruit in summer.

:10:28.:10:36.

In it doesn't receive the right amount of chilling, it can affect

:10:36.:10:40.

the quality and the yield, and in stream cases, it may not even fruit

:10:40.:10:45.

at all. But it is not just cherries. All our

:10:45.:10:51.

fruit crops need those crucial chill hours during the winter months if

:10:51.:10:55.

they're going to produce fruit. So what is actually going on inside

:10:55.:11:00.

the plants? Stefan Gates reveals more about this mysterious

:11:00.:11:09.

phenomenon. How do our fruit trees know when to

:11:09.:11:15.

start growing, when to flower, and when to drop their leaves? It is all

:11:15.:11:18.

due to the fact that plants really do feel the cold.

:11:18.:11:23.

When the trees lose their leaves in winter, they become dormant and that

:11:24.:11:29.

is because they are genetically pre-programmed to shut down.

:11:29.:11:33.

But what is it that causes the tree to wake up again? It is down to a

:11:33.:11:41.

mysterious process called "vernalisat Take Take this apple

:11:41.:11:45.

tree. It is only when the tree gets cold for a prolonged period of time

:11:45.:11:49.

that another set of genes is activated, and this begins the long

:11:49.:11:53.

process of preparing the plant for spring. It is a little bit like the

:11:53.:12:00.

plant's internal clock is being reactivated. Prolonged low

:12:00.:12:04.

temperatures in winter trigger the release of a hormone called

:12:04.:12:08.

florigen, and this is this that kick-starts the plant into flowering

:12:08.:12:13.

and eventually to produce fruit. To make an apple, the tree must

:12:13.:12:19.

endure around 700 hours of temperatures colder than seven

:12:19.:12:23.

degrees. Without that, it simply won't flower as well when the

:12:23.:12:32.

weather warms up. Andy's cherries need even more cold

:12:32.:12:38.

than apples: 1,200 hours, to be precise, and this winter, they

:12:38.:12:41.

certainly got that. But the cold weather dragged on and

:12:41.:12:46.

on, and spring came really late, so Andy began to worry that he had

:12:46.:12:51.

another problem on his hands: that, by summer, all his fruits would

:12:51.:12:56.

develop at the same time. And, as if that wasn't enough, in July, along

:12:56.:13:01.

came the longest heatwave of this century. Those prolonged warm

:13:01.:13:06.

temperatures accelerated the ripening, and now all the cherries

:13:06.:13:10.

are pretty much ready at the same time. Will they be able to pick all

:13:10.:13:17.

the cherries while they're still perfectly ripe? Gregg has gone to

:13:17.:13:20.

meet the pickers that Andy is trusting with his precious crop.

:13:20.:13:28.

I've been told to come here. Bev, available between 12 and two. I

:13:28.:13:32.

am a bit early. Bev Woodyatt is in charge of the

:13:33.:13:36.

seasonal workforce at Lower Hope. She used to be a picker herself.

:13:36.:13:41.

Traditionally, all our fruit crops were harvested by local people, but,

:13:41.:13:45.

like so many things in farming, times have changed, and now we

:13:45.:13:47.

employ thousands of foreign times have changed, and now we

:13:47.:13:52.

to do the job. I greet the students, I do their

:13:52.:13:56.

inductions, make sure they've got the right paperwork, do their wages

:13:56.:14:00.

and look after the campsite. I am like their mum but I don't cook and

:14:00.:14:05.

clean for them. Why are they all eastern European? We do advertise

:14:05.:14:09.

for British people but they don't seem to be really interested. We

:14:09.:14:13.

have had a couple, one lasted an hour, one lasted a day. It is hard

:14:13.:14:18.

work. At the moment, it's a shame, but they just don't seem to want to

:14:18.:14:22.

do it. On your office door, one lasted a day. It is hard work. At

:14:22.:14:24.

the moment, it's a shame, but they lasted a day. It is hard work. At

:14:24.:14:27.

just don't seem to want to do it. On your office door, it says "meeting

:14:27.:14:30.

by appointment only". Why is that? Constant, knock, knock, knock on the

:14:30.:14:32.

door, things like, "My lightbulb has gone. What time is it going to stop

:14:32.:14:36.

raining?" At the height of harvest, Bev has 250 pickers, packers and

:14:36.:14:42.

pruners all all need housing in the farm's own campsite. This is one of

:14:42.:14:48.

the caravans. Sizeable. How many people sleep in here? This has six

:14:48.:14:56.

in. This is Ivelina. We wanted to see how you all live and stuff. Come

:14:56.:15:03.

in. Hello. Great big television. Have you got satellite? Yes, we have

:15:03.:15:07.

English satellite, Bulgarian TV. We can watch everything. This is quite

:15:07.:15:12.

cosy. I think I wouldn't mind a caravan.

:15:12.:15:23.

You wouldn't want to share a room with someone having nightmares. Some

:15:23.:15:28.

workers stay for ten months a year, so there is a strong

:15:28.:15:30.

workers stay for ten months a year, community around the campsite, they

:15:30.:15:32.

cook, do their washing together. It's got a real holiday camp feel,

:15:32.:15:37.

except everyone is here for one main reason: to earn money. They get paid

:15:37.:15:42.

by the weight of the cherries they pick. Why do you publish everyone's

:15:42.:15:47.

earnings? They like to know every day how much they've earned. This

:15:47.:15:54.

picker here, Mateusz Klus, he is earning about £100 a day. In fact,

:15:54.:15:58.

there are four or five people there earning near on £100 a day? Yes. If

:15:58.:16:02.

you're willing to work, you can earn good money. What is the tapal day of

:16:03.:16:09.

your cherry worker? Ve could be 5 o'clock in the morning, it could be

:16:09.:16:13.

six, it just depends, and they normally work about eight hours a

:16:13.:16:17.

day. When they finish at night, it is one big mad dash to get in the

:16:17.:16:22.

showers, usually it is not long before they're in bed because

:16:22.:16:24.

obviously they've got to start and get up again four or 5 o'clock in

:16:24.:16:29.

the morning ready for the next day. Much socialising here in the

:16:29.:16:33.

evening? Yes, they usually get together and have a drink. Mostly,

:16:33.:16:36.

there is a birthday every day with this amount of people, if not two,

:16:36.:16:41.

and then we usually do barbecues for them. Is there much interpicking

:16:41.:16:46.

romance? We have had marriages, we have had babies. Really?Yes. That's

:16:46.:16:51.

fantastic. It is 20 years since Bev was a

:16:51.:16:57.

picker herself. It is a lifestyle she grew up with. How was it being a

:16:57.:17:03.

picker? It is hard work, but it was fun. This is m. No way. Us kids used

:17:03.:17:11.

to sit and pick hops into an umbrella. Here's when it was all

:17:11.:17:16.

done by hand. Not a lot has changed, really? Lots of people on the land

:17:16.:17:20.

then all bringing in the harvest. Yes. But of course there are plenty

:17:20.:17:30.

of other things that have changed. Right now, everyone is racing to

:17:30.:17:34.

bring this this incredible crop, but we wouldn't have all these cherries

:17:34.:17:39.

without one thing: polytunnels. Polytunnels were introduced to

:17:40.:17:44.

British farming 20 years ago, and they've completely revolutionised

:17:44.:17:46.

our summer fruit industry by increasing the reliability of the

:17:46.:17:51.

harvest. Andy led the way in using them to cover whole cherry orchards.

:17:52.:17:56.

They Lou him to control the growing environment to suit the precise

:17:56.:18:03.

needs of the trees. The scale of his man-made cherry heaven is

:18:03.:18:06.

staggering. The tunnels go up in spring when Andy's team cover the

:18:06.:18:11.

whole orchard with a giant plastic roof.

:18:11.:18:14.

It is important the trees are protected from late frost. In

:18:14.:18:20.

summer, the polytunnels keep the ripe cherries safe from storms that

:18:20.:18:25.

would split them and devastate the harvest. I have to say, I will

:18:25.:18:34.

confess to you, I am not a big fan of polytunnels, but it's lovely in

:18:34.:18:35.

here. It's a lovely climate, a of polytunnels, but it's lovely in

:18:35.:18:39.

beautiful climate. It allows us to amend nature, really. We can make it

:18:39.:18:44.

warmer in the spring, cooler in the summer. How do you ventilate them,

:18:44.:18:49.

then? We use these poles.This is not going to be press a button? Not

:18:49.:18:55.

quite. How many miles?About 50 kilometres which is 30 miles of

:18:55.:18:59.

tunnels, so it is a lot of tunnels. 30 miles of tunnels. So every time

:19:00.:19:03.

you decide it's a bit hot today, you've got to do 30 miles? Yes.

:19:03.:19:09.

Also, how much does that cost? It costs us about £1,000 to push all

:19:09.:19:16.

the tunnels up and pull them down again. Shallwe? we? , all you do is

:19:16.:19:25.

- I won't do this 3 miles.I will show you. You simply put the pole

:19:25.:19:32.

here just on the bottom and pub it up underneath. The ropes tighten and

:19:32.:19:36.

hold it. You come alongside the rope, tuck it into here. By the time

:19:36.:19:42.

you've done this for 30 miles, ght, midnight, isn't it? A little bit

:19:42.:19:45.

further, please. Quite particular. That is you, though. You're so

:19:45.:19:50.

particular. Very particular. We simply go along. Try the ne one. .

:19:50.:19:54.

It is a good workout. In the winter, then, are they protecting them? We

:19:55.:20:00.

actually take them off in the winter. What you've done wrong there

:20:00.:20:05.

is you need to get the bottom underneath and they won't slide

:20:05.:20:08.

down. Are you saying my work on the farm is sloppy? You need a bit of

:20:08.:20:15.

training! How much does this whole rig cost? All these polytunnels and

:20:15.:20:21.

everything? How much is that in rig cost? All these polytunnels and

:20:21.:20:23.

terms of inselection? We spent about £2 fingerprint 25 million on

:20:23.:20:26.

tunnels. It's a huge investment. Absolutely. For you it's the

:20:26.:20:29.

difference of growing cherries in the UK. Without them, we wouldn't

:20:29.:20:30.

difference of growing cherries in growing cherries in the UK. That's

:20:30.:20:38.

the same for lots of fruit as well, particularly one of our favourites,

:20:38.:20:45.

the strawberry as Gregg has been finding out.

:20:45.:20:50.

The biggest in the polytunnel revolution is the strawberry. This

:20:50.:20:52.

The biggest in the polytunnel sweet berry has taken over from the

:20:52.:20:53.

cherry as our favourite summer fruit. It now dwarfs dwarfs cherry

:20:53.:21:03.

sales on a massive five to one and makes up over 80 per cent of all the

:21:03.:21:08.

soft fruit we eat. The original wild strawberries still grow in our

:21:08.:21:11.

woods. They are delicately small and are shade-loving berries. The larger

:21:11.:21:17.

modern strawberry was bred in France in the 18th century and is much more

:21:17.:21:21.

of a sun worshipper. It is also a lot easier to grow than the needy

:21:21.:21:25.

cherry which explains why the strawberry industry has last eight

:21:25.:21:32.

the last eight years. It seems there's no stopping this Goliath of

:21:32.:21:37.

the summer fruit world. Now there are strawberriesing grown all over

:21:37.:21:39.

the UK. And not always in are strawberriesing grown all over

:21:39.:21:49.

that I would expect. Here I am in Stonehaven, 500 miles

:21:49.:21:54.

north of London. It is a beautiful little place. When

:21:54.:21:59.

I think about food round here, I think about brilliant Scottish sea

:21:59.:22:00.

food, lobsters or herring - most think about brilliant Scottish sea

:22:00.:22:10.

certainly not strawberries. Look at these. Mmm. They are seriously good.

:22:10.:22:15.

They come from just down the road here.

:22:15.:22:18.

I always think of strawberries basking in the sunny warmth of

:22:18.:22:21.

southern basking in the sunny warmth of

:22:21.:22:25.

But, in fact, the colder Scottish lowlands are surprisingly

:22:25.:22:28.

productive. Ross Mitchell grows over 200 acres

:22:28.:22:32.

of soft fruit on his Aberdeenshire farm.

:22:33.:22:36.

He believes there are some real advantages to growing this far

:22:36.:22:39.

north. But, like Andy, he relies on

:22:39.:22:44.

polytunnels to keep out the worst of the Scottish weather. He is also

:22:44.:22:50.

adopting some really high-tech growing techniques that mean his

:22:50.:22:52.

strawberries lead a remarkably growing techniques that mean his

:22:52.:22:55.

pampered lifestyle. Not what I expected at all, mate.

:22:55.:23:01.

Gregg, this is strawberry growing in the modern era. This is a hydroponic

:23:01.:23:08.

system we're growing in so there is no natural soil involved. We're

:23:08.:23:13.

taking in coir, which is ground-up coconut shells. The plants sit in

:23:14.:23:18.

the coir, an efficient growing medium which encourages better root

:23:18.:23:21.

growth and increases fruit production. They receive their food

:23:21.:23:26.

through a network of pipes. What exactly is going through these

:23:26.:23:28.

through a network of pipes. pipes? Water, I should imagine?

:23:28.:23:31.

Water and all the nutrients plants need. They need nitrogen, calcium,

:23:31.:23:39.

potassium, phosphorous. We are using a computer to measure the humidity

:23:39.:23:44.

potassium, phosphorous. We are using and sunlight, and when they need

:23:44.:23:48.

nutrient, they get it. They normally would have got them from the soil?

:23:48.:23:53.

Yes, or a granular fertiliser that would be applied once or twice a

:23:53.:23:56.

year. We're giving fertiliser every time continually. You're not giving

:23:56.:24:00.

the strawberry anything it wouldn' had fifty 50 years ago? No, it's not

:24:00.:24:04.

get anything that is not a natural resource. Just a different way?Yes.

:24:04.:24:09.

You've got it on a drip? Yes. We try to take the variables out of it to

:24:09.:24:11.

You've got it on a drip? Yes. We try grow a more consistent even crop.

:24:11.:24:13.

You've got it on a drip? Yes. We try You get more yield and better fruit

:24:13.:24:18.

from this system? We do, yes.How confident hat you that these are

:24:18.:24:22.

going to taste better than my uncle Ted's ones in Kent? Very confident.

:24:22.:24:28.

The proof of the pudding is is in the eating. Oh, mate. That's a very

:24:28.:24:32.

good strawberry. Seriously sweet. Maybe too much potassium in that

:24:32.:24:37.

one! Is that right!Maybe. Nitrogen balance is Maybe too much potassium

:24:37.:24:41.

in that one! Is that right!Maybe. Nitrogen balance is absolutely

:24:41.:24:42.

in that one! Is that right!Maybe. right. ! It is all very futuristic,

:24:43.:24:45.

but things weren't always that way. Ross is part of a long tradition of

:24:45.:24:50.

soft fruit production on the east coast of Scotland. Since the 1890s,

:24:50.:24:56.

thousands of acres of land has been dedicated to growing soft fruit,

:24:56.:25:01.

much of which was sent under steam to London markets. The

:25:01.:25:03.

much of which was sent under steam tough without polytunnels, but

:25:03.:25:09.

farmers were making the most of one of Scotland's natural advantages:

:25:09.:25:15.

Daylight. And lots of it. In midsummer, this

:25:15.:25:28.

area gets well over an hour more day light than Kent.

:25:28.:25:33.

Which has a huge effect on the short life of the strawberry.

:25:33.:25:41.

Ross, that's great. I am taking it they are the different stage of

:25:41.:25:43.

development of a strawberry? So, yes, a school lesson here: we start

:25:43.:25:48.

off with an open flower which then needs to be pollenated. So the

:25:48.:25:52.

centre of the flower then develops to become the strawberry. You can

:25:52.:25:55.

see the different growth stages here. So, between here and here,

:25:55.:26:00.

probably takes about four weeks. And here and here takes about two weeks.

:26:00.:26:04.

But this is the crucial stage where all the sweetness, all the flavour

:26:04.:26:07.

is put into the strawberry, so this is the very point where Scotland's

:26:07.:26:10.

climate makes a difference to the is the very point where Scotland's

:26:10.:26:16.

fruit flavour. The extra daylight hours means Ross's strawberries have

:26:16.:26:21.

longer to build up sugars. Because it is generally cooler up here, they

:26:21.:26:26.

ripen more slowly, giving even more time for the strawberries to develop

:26:26.:26:37.

their deliciously sweet flavour. Hey, those berries were absolutely

:26:37.:26:42.

delicious, but these are equally as delicious, and these are all Andy's

:26:42.:26:43.

cherries, and what I wanted to show delicious, and these are all Andy's

:26:43.:26:46.

you is even though we think cherries are all the same, look at all of the

:26:46.:26:51.

different varieties. Yes, you can clearly see when they are put

:26:51.:26:53.

together they are all very different, are not they? This one

:26:53.:26:57.

here is my favourite one, called a Sweetheart isn't that lovely? That

:26:57.:27:04.

looks very cherry-ish. Do they taste differently? You taste, taste the

:27:04.:27:10.

Sweetheart ones. Taste another one. I can guarantee you that he will be

:27:10.:27:14.

different. These Sweethearts I think almost taste like a glass of red

:27:14.:27:18.

wine. They are very sweet.This one is sweet, maybe deeper. Try one of

:27:18.:27:22.

these. These having these stones in it have

:27:22.:27:26.

caused a problem in recent years. I am pleased to hear that sales are on

:27:26.:27:29.

the increase. Because of the stones, because they are difficult to eat,

:27:29.:27:32.

people have been neglecting them. We've been getting lazy. If I leave

:27:32.:27:35.

people have been neglecting them. a bowl of cherries out on the table,

:27:35.:27:36.

people have been neglecting them. they're gone in half an hour in our

:27:36.:27:40.

house. I don't think you agree with me they taste like wine? I don't,

:27:40.:27:45.

really. That's because you drink rubbish wine, obviously! What do

:27:45.:27:49.

they taste like? They just taste sweet. That I think tastes more like

:27:49.:27:57.

a blackcurrant. I am getting that, and also with the colour as well.

:27:57.:28:03.

This is the sweetest of all. Pick the last one up for me there. All I

:28:03.:28:10.

- That is much sweeter.I don't know what that one is called. That was

:28:10.:28:14.

the point I am trying to make: they are all very different. That's less

:28:14.:28:20.

sweet, isn't it? That is the least sweet of all. What I like about

:28:20.:28:23.

British home-grown cherries is they're likely to be riper because

:28:23.:28:27.

they don't have to travel so far. If you're picking abroad and you're

:28:27.:28:30.

air-freighting or put they think on a ship, you're not going to pick

:28:30.:28:35.

them anywhere near ripe. Let's stay here and scoff some more! In the

:28:35.:28:40.

spring, all over the UK, orchards are blossoming and they are

:28:40.:28:46.

attracting insect pollinators. That short flowering season is a treat

:28:46.:28:53.

for our fruit growers. I always look forward to blossom.

:28:53.:28:57.

The trees always look at their best this time of year. Andy's not alone.

:28:57.:29:03.

In spring, fruit farmers all over the UK enjoy one of nature's finest

:29:03.:29:09.

shows. This is lovely to see the seasons

:29:09.:29:13.

moving on in the growth stages. Once we see the flower in our fruit

:29:13.:29:19.

crops, at least we have a chance of getting a good crop. This is both

:29:19.:29:24.

exciting and a nervous time of year. What happens now and for the next

:29:24.:29:29.

few weeks will determine what level of crop we have and ultimately what

:29:29.:29:34.

harvest. We want to be absolutely sure the bees have done their job.

:29:34.:29:38.

We have such a short window - maybe two weeks - to get the trees

:29:38.:29:44.

pollinated. If you don't get pollination, you get no fruit.

:29:44.:29:51.

Praying for good weather. Forever looking at the weather forecast and

:29:51.:29:55.

hoping things are going to go well for us.

:29:55.:30:01.

If we can just see the sun shining, the insects flying, and all the

:30:01.:30:05.

If we can just see the sun shining, blossom pollenated, then, great. It

:30:05.:30:16.

is so stunning, that it is really easy to get carried away with the

:30:16.:30:21.

romance of blossom, but of course every single flower is there to

:30:21.:30:25.

perform a function: they need to be pollenated by insects if there is

:30:25.:30:30.

going to be any fruit crop at all. But what exactly is pollination?

:30:30.:30:36.

Stefan Gates has been exploring this fascinating example of co-operation

:30:36.:30:44.

in nature. The key to a plant's success is sex.

:30:44.:30:55.

And that is where pollen comes. In. Each microscopic grain carries the

:30:55.:30:59.

male reproductive cells of a plant. For a plant to reproduce, its pollen

:30:59.:31:05.

must reach the female plants of another plant. Plants can't travel

:31:05.:31:09.

so finding a mate can be tricky. That's why lots of plants rely on

:31:09.:31:14.

animals to act as go-betweens. To attract animal pollinators, plants

:31:15.:31:19.

entice them with dazzling displays of flowers, rich with nectar and

:31:19.:31:21.

entice them with dazzling displays scent. Insects, and in other

:31:21.:31:25.

countries even birds and mammals, feed on the nectar, and, in return,

:31:25.:31:32.

they provide an invaluable service. Flowers contain both male and female

:31:32.:31:39.

parts, and if you look at this beautiful lily, these are the

:31:39.:31:44.

anthers, and they are utterly drenched in pollen. They're the male

:31:44.:31:50.

part of the flower, and their prominent position is no

:31:50.:31:53.

coincidence. They stick out so that any visiting creatures are sure to

:31:53.:31:58.

get a thorough coating of pollen, pollen that they will then carry to

:31:58.:32:01.

the next plant. Hopefully, it will drop some of that pollen on to this

:32:01.:32:06.

stigma, which is the female part, and when the pollen drops there, it

:32:06.:32:10.

travels down all the way down to the bottom to the ovaries.

:32:10.:32:16.

Once it reaches an ovary, the pollen fertilisers an egg. The flower can

:32:16.:32:22.

now develop seeds, and, in some plants, the tasty fruit around them.

:32:22.:32:28.

With that, the plant has successfully reproduced.

:32:28.:32:35.

Back at the farm, Andy's team of workers are still busy picking his

:32:35.:32:39.

bumper crop much cherries. They're three-quarters of the way through

:32:39.:32:43.

the harvest now. But these cherries are only here because of a very

:32:43.:32:48.

different workforce. Commercial fruit farmers like Andy

:32:48.:32:52.

rely on an army of insects they buy in to pollenate their crops. Back

:32:52.:32:55.

rely on an army of insects they buy spring, I went to help Andy on one

:32:55.:33:03.

of the most important days of his year. Bee day.

:33:03.:33:09.

It is 29 April at Lower Hope, and the blossom is due to emerge any

:33:09.:33:14.

day. Andy has got millions of bees, of

:33:14.:33:19.

several different species, all being delivered to the farm ready for the

:33:19.:33:27.

massive pollination task. First, the honey bees. For

:33:27.:33:32.

centuries, we've relied on them to pollenate our fruit crops, and they

:33:33.:33:36.

are still vital today. With advances in fruit production, they're no

:33:36.:33:39.

longer enough. Andy has got such a high density of

:33:39.:33:43.

trees, and the commercial value of his harvest is so great, so he needs

:33:43.:33:50.

literally millions of bees. He can't only rely on the honey bees and the

:33:50.:33:55.

local wild bees. He actually has to import more from abroad like these

:33:55.:33:59.

bumble bees. Why can't you just rely on the wild

:33:59.:34:03.

bees? There just are not enough of them. The wild bees living all over.

:34:03.:34:08.

Who is to say they're not going to be in the hedgerow or down the road

:34:08.:34:13.

somewhere on somebody else's crop. It needs millions of bees to

:34:13.:34:16.

pollenate this farm. It is vital It needs millions of bees to

:34:16.:34:26.

they're here and not elsewhere. Andy buys his bumble bees from a

:34:26.:34:33.

factory in Slovakia that breeds them specifically to pollenate fruit

:34:33.:34:37.

crops on farms right across Europe. Here, the Queen bees are selected,

:34:37.:34:51.

mated, and then they lay their eggs. When the colony is big enough, the

:34:51.:34:58.

bumble bees are boxed up, and shipped to farms like Lower Hope.

:34:58.:35:09.

This practice is fully licensed by Natural England but still has its

:35:10.:35:15.

critics. Do you have any conservation worries about importing

:35:15.:35:21.

bees from abroad? No, no, they're a British sub speakers anyway, native

:35:21.:35:25.

to this country. So they're not going to battle with our own

:35:25.:35:29.

species? Not at all.What about disease? Again, the environment they

:35:29.:35:35.

are produced in is very sterile, so I've personally got no concerns

:35:35.:35:39.

about pests or disease. We need these bees to have a

:35:39.:35:43.

successful harvest. Without these guys, we would have no cherries.

:35:43.:35:49.

With the stakes so high, this year, Andy is also trialling a third

:35:49.:35:54.

species of bee. He hopes it could have a significant impact on his

:35:54.:35:58.

cherry harvest and help boost our native bepopulation too.

:35:58.:36:04.

These are Mason bees, so-called because they build walls of mud in

:36:04.:36:10.

their nest lick a stone Mason does. These are actually quite solitary

:36:10.:36:13.

bees, but although you don't see them in big numbers, Andy has a

:36:13.:36:19.

suspicion that they might be extremely efficient pollinators.

:36:19.:36:24.

Mason bee expert Chris Whittall is releasing thousands of these native

:36:24.:36:30.

bees into the orchard today. When it comes pollination, he believes the

:36:30.:36:36.

nayson berules -- Mason bee rules. Why are these bees better? They have

:36:36.:36:42.

a short life cycle, only perhaps six weeks, and that that time they've

:36:42.:36:46.

got to collect the pollen to put in their nest tubes, to reproduce

:36:46.:36:50.

themselves for next year. It is the natural life cycle that makes them

:36:50.:36:55.

so ideal. As soon as these bees hatch, they mate. Then the males die

:36:55.:37:01.

and the females go on an intense food-gathering mission, visiting

:37:01.:37:05.

lots of flowers in a very short space of time. They have to collect

:37:05.:37:09.

enough pollen and nectar to feed their developing young before they

:37:09.:37:13.

die themselves. That is why Chris thinks they are

:37:13.:37:17.

the most effective pollinators. But what will be the proof? How will we

:37:17.:37:20.

know? We will see a lot more cherries, much better quality, and

:37:20.:37:26.

they will taste beautiful. Just two days after we put the bees

:37:26.:37:30.

out, the orchard came alive. Andy's bees were hard at work

:37:30.:37:49.

pollenating the blossom that would pollenating the blossom that would

:37:49.:37:54.

eventually turn into cherries. What is particularly lovely for me

:37:54.:38:15.

is seeing the difference between just blossom on trees, all these

:38:15.:38:20.

festoons of fruit and leaves. It looks so, so different? Yes, it

:38:20.:38:24.

does, and it is a fantastic crop, as you can see. It is an enormous crop

:38:24.:38:29.

of cherries. The bees all did their job but we were particularly

:38:30.:38:33.

interested in the Mason bees. How did they perform? They did a

:38:33.:38:36.

fantastic job. We are certainly going to extend the trial. So next

:38:36.:38:39.

year, they continue their work? Very much so. We will be putting a lot

:38:39.:38:44.

more bees in and over a wider area. It is very well having this bumper

:38:44.:38:48.

crop but then you do need an army of people to harvest them. We do.

:38:48.:38:55.

Handley, Gregg, even as we is learning how to do that with Bev.

:38:55.:39:01.

All these little bits at the top, this is all next year's fruit, so

:39:01.:39:06.

literally if somebody rips that off, that's next year's crop gone. How do

:39:06.:39:15.

we pull without pulling the - You get the cherry, hold it by the

:39:15.:39:18.

stalk, and you pluck them off like that. You must never touch the fruit

:39:19.:39:22.

because the fruit will bruise with your fingers. Listen, I am going to

:39:22.:39:26.

eat a few of these as I go round. You're not going to eat them. You

:39:26.:39:34.

mean? If you're seen eating on the field, you will be sent off the

:39:34.:39:38.

field and you will not pick again. I am a thirsty man in a brewery here.

:39:38.:39:42.

All right! Rules are rules! Do you want come out? Yes. Make sure you

:39:42.:39:51.

place them into your punnet. Don't drop them. Don't pick the ones off

:39:51.:39:59.

the floor because that's dirty now. I think you're getting up to speed.

:39:59.:40:06.

We need to put you in a team now. I tell you what, this is a hive of

:40:06.:40:14.

activity. Hi. ,George. Nice to meet you. I am your new star picker.

:40:14.:40:19.

Where do I start? This is your first tree, second tree. Please can you

:40:19.:40:25.

stop your trolley here. My trolley is going to be going up and down

:40:25.:40:30.

here so fast. You don't need to move your trolley. You stop where your

:40:30.:40:34.

trees and that is it. This is your first. I've - oh. Please, you need

:40:34.:40:38.

to start from the top of the branch. first. I've - oh. Please, you need

:40:38.:40:47.

Yes, of course, I knew that! What do you do when the cherries are leaning

:40:47.:40:51.

over the other side? You can just jump from the other side. It will be

:40:51.:40:53.

easier for you to come here jump from the other side. It will be

:40:53.:40:59.

here to pick them just like that. Just like that. These seem harder

:40:59.:41:08.

than where I was before. What about this one? That is good?No, it's

:41:08.:41:13.

not. Have a look on the side. You see? It has small marks on it. No,

:41:14.:41:22.

no. No! I am nowhere near as fast as

:41:22.:41:27.

Uruguays, and it seems that everybody really has their part in a

:41:27.:41:31.

team. In your experience, what makes a very good team? The guys need to

:41:31.:41:40.

be motivated to earn money and to helping each other. We are finish it

:41:40.:41:45.

as fast as we can. After the pickers, there should not be any

:41:45.:41:49.

fruit on the tree. It is hard work, and there is no way that you could

:41:49.:41:54.

do this by machine. Philippa, who is always looking for the easy way out,

:41:54.:41:58.

she's found a fruit that you can pick with a machine. Trust her.

:41:59.:42:09.

Rob Saunders is the man in charge of buying 90 per cent of the UK's

:42:09.:42:13.

blackcurrants. He's the chief taster for Ribena.

:42:14.:42:24.

Only when Rob is happy the currants are ripe can the machines roll into

:42:24.:42:31.

action on farmer Anthony Snell's field.

:42:31.:42:44.

What is the verdict? They're black, there's the rig balance ofmuch

:42:44.:42:55.

sweetness and acidity. They're ready.

:42:56.:42:59.

The race is on for grower Anthony Snell and his team to harvest these

:42:59.:43:05.

blackcurrants and at the time them to the press within -- and get them

:43:05.:43:10.

to the press within 24 hours, otherwise they start to ferment.

:43:10.:43:15.

Vibrating fingers at the front of the machine shake the blackcurrants

:43:15.:43:19.

off without damaging the bushes. The fruit is caught by a conveyer that

:43:19.:43:24.

takes it to the back of the harvester where it is sorted and

:43:24.:43:31.

ready to be pressed into juice. How can you harvest fruit with a

:43:31.:43:36.

machine because ordinarily it is so delicate that you need pickers? It

:43:36.:43:44.

is a much more robust berry than strawberries and it is going for

:43:44.:43:50.

juice, so it is ideal to be mechanically harvested. How much

:43:50.:43:55.

does this machine cost? It is 100,000, but it's replacing 100

:43:55.:44:06.

people. British growers grow o hundred thousand tonnes of

:44:06.:44:07.

blackcurrants every year. Growing them in this climate isn't so easy.

:44:07.:44:10.

blackcurrants every year. Growing Something isn't quite right in the

:44:10.:44:14.

world of blackcurrants. At the pressing plant, harvest 2013 is more

:44:14.:44:22.

frantic than ever. What normally takes six weeks is

:44:22.:44:28.

being compressed into just five weeks.

:44:28.:44:32.

The big freeze last winter meant the blackcurrants ripened all at the

:44:32.:44:36.

same time, just like Andy's cherries. Now, the juice pressers

:44:36.:44:42.

are having to work overtime. But long-term, the business faces a

:44:42.:44:46.

more serious problem. Not boom but bust.

:44:46.:44:56.

2013 has bucked the trend for warmer winters. In previous mild winters,

:44:57.:45:00.

bushes didn't get the chill hours needed to make enough fruit, so

:45:00.:45:06.

recent harvests were poor. Ribena have been working with fruit

:45:06.:45:12.

scientist Dr Rex Brennan who might just have bred the answer on a

:45:12.:45:16.

nearby trial plot: a new variety with a snappy name.

:45:16.:45:24.

?CAPNEXT this seis 95212. It looks like every other blackcurrant bush

:45:24.:45:29.

I've seen today but I am sure for you it's not. Of this it's not, but

:45:29.:45:33.

it is a variety we hope will be released commercially and one of the

:45:33.:45:36.

attributes it has is that it needs significantly less winter chilling

:45:36.:45:39.

than some of the previous varieties. The big thing of course is the taste

:45:39.:45:45.

of it. That consistency is important to us because people recognise the

:45:45.:45:48.

flavour of the drink, and it can't change over time. For 95212 to

:45:48.:45:55.

become part of Ribena's future harvest it, has to make it through

:45:55.:46:00.

an expert taste panel. So I've help Rob harvest a sample ready for

:46:00.:46:03.

testing by the professionals. Time to see if it makes the grade.

:46:03.:46:15.

Try not to snort it! Really, the cranberry notes are pronounced. A

:46:15.:46:19.

hint of boiled sweets. We're looking for that leafy almost catty - it is

:46:19.:46:26.

called a ribese - When have you tasted a cat! The thing is no-one

:46:26.:46:31.

has mentioned blackcurrants. I don't know what to make of that! Each

:46:31.:46:37.

criterion is marked from one to five and averaged into a single score.

:46:37.:46:42.

That is a magnifice 4.4. Final result. That is fantastic. What does

:46:42.:46:49.

this mean for the future of 95212? It has held up really well. We know

:46:49.:46:53.

it's well adapted to warm winters, and it tastes great. I think we're

:46:53.:46:57.

very likely to release it as a and it tastes great. I think we're

:46:57.:47:01.

variety. Does that mean growers like Anthony will be growing it

:47:01.:47:03.

commercially in the future? This will be part of the future of

:47:03.:47:06.

blackcurrants in the UK. I drink to that. Cheers. Best of health.

:47:06.:47:15.

Cheers. It is actually really nice and quiet

:47:15.:47:21.

and peaceful, just the rustle of leaves. Everybody is busy.I've

:47:21.:47:25.

never known it been quiet with Gregg around. How are you doing?

:47:25.:47:28.

Concentrating. Those guys have picked way more than you have. I've

:47:28.:47:32.

just emptied two trays. Concentrating. That is the key to

:47:32.:47:37.

keeping him quiet. I will remember that! Andy Andy, what is the most

:47:37.:47:40.

difficult part of this whole process for you because obviously you're not

:47:40.:47:44.

doing the picking, are you? No, just deciding when they're ripe. Who

:47:44.:47:50.

decides? Every variety has its ideal colour. This variety, Sweetheart, is

:47:50.:47:55.

best when it is this sort of colour, like a dark red. Like that. You see,

:47:55.:48:04.

it's got lovely even dark red. Yes. Would you like to try on? You know

:48:04.:48:09.

the answer to that. It's lovelying able to eat the fruit down here!

:48:09.:48:18.

That tastes beautiful to me. That's exactly how it should be. It's

:48:18.:48:21.

perfect. Do you get the supermarkets coming in and wanting to taste them

:48:21.:48:25.

before you pick? We do get them visiting, but we tell them when they

:48:25.:48:30.

are ready at the end of the day. There are only a couple of people on

:48:30.:48:34.

the farm that can make that decision because it's a vital decision. So

:48:34.:48:37.

presumably, if you got that wrong, and a whole row of cherries was

:48:37.:48:41.

picked before it was ripe, it would be a bit of a disaster. Yes. You

:48:41.:48:45.

see, there is a variation in colour within this tree, and it

:48:45.:48:47.

see, there is a variation in colour like that, but this fruit, a little

:48:47.:48:51.

bit red, if you would like to try that, you will notice the

:48:51.:48:57.

difference. So - no flavour.No, nowhere near. That is

:48:57.:49:00.

difference. So - no flavour.No, The difference is really, really

:49:00.:49:04.

clear. So the art is to decide when the overall tree is fit to pick

:49:04.:49:08.

because you're always going to get a few like this. There is a picking

:49:08.:49:12.

window of maybe three or four days. So what is going on? What is

:49:12.:49:24.

ripening and why is it so important to fruit? Plants create fruits for

:49:24.:49:28.

one very simple reason: to spread their seed as far and as wide as

:49:28.:49:34.

possible. The tasty fruit tempts animals to eat it.

:49:34.:49:40.

The seeds inside the fruit pass through the animal's gut and are

:49:40.:49:45.

deposited far away from the parent plant, but creating that fruit

:49:45.:49:50.

requires a huge investment of energy for a plant. That apple contained

:49:50.:49:55.

over a tablespoon of sugar which the plant had had to painstakingly

:49:55.:49:58.

create using photosynthesis. plant had had to painstakingly

:49:58.:50:02.

plants won't give up their fruits until the seeds inside them are

:50:02.:50:07.

ready. That is why unripe fruit is so unappealing.

:50:07.:50:12.

These unripe apples are dry and sour they are packed with carbohydrates

:50:12.:50:16.

but they haven't been broken down into the sweet sugars that we can

:50:16.:50:21.

taste. Until they ripen, most fruits are green so they're well

:50:21.:50:26.

camouflaged within the plant. Once the seeds are mature, the plant

:50:26.:50:34.

produces a syrupy smelling gas called ethylene causing the sweet to

:50:34.:50:37.

become sweeter, darker, and much more appetising. For the plant, this

:50:37.:50:41.

is the potential for a future generation, but for us, it is a food

:50:41.:50:48.

packed full of flavour and essential vitamins.

:50:48.:50:57.

Keep picking, boys! Quick, quick, quick, more cherries. I tell you

:50:57.:51:04.

what, these guys work fast. As soon as I filled up these trays, they are

:51:04.:51:12.

loaded up and they are off for processing. Now, I've been working

:51:12.:51:17.

fruit and veg for over 20 years, and I am telling you, what they're doing

:51:17.:51:19.

is picking these ripe and trying to I am telling you, what they're doing

:51:19.:51:22.

get them to the supermarkets within two days. That is very impressive.

:51:22.:51:25.

Fruit of this quality in that quantity, that is great.

:51:25.:51:37.

Once the fruit leaves the orchards, it comes here to the pack house.

:51:37.:51:49.

Every day, the team pack 25,000 punnets.

:51:49.:51:53.

The cherries are chilled to slow the age willing process, and reduce the

:51:53.:51:58.

risk of decay. Then machines wash and grade the

:51:58.:52:03.

cherries, sorting them into their different sizes before they are put

:52:03.:52:09.

into punnets. But every punnet must weigh the

:52:09.:52:12.

same. The accuracy is really quite

:52:12.:52:19.

impressive. Green light, go ahead. Now I've got to turn all the

:52:19.:52:25.

cherries face down so the heat-sealed lids don't get punctured

:52:25.:52:30.

by the stalks. When I buy these, I don't think about the person who has

:52:30.:52:34.

lovingly packed them. Once they are chilled and packed,

:52:34.:52:38.

the cherries have a shelf life of about five days.

:52:38.:52:45.

Here they are. Clearly, the best ones were mine! Ready mine! Ready

:52:45.:52:50.

for them to go to the supermarket for us to buy them. Every

:52:50.:52:54.

fruit-laden truck leaving the farm advances Andy's dream: to help

:52:54.:52:58.

revive UK cherry-growing, but how was this year for him? The weather

:52:58.:53:03.

was kind through the winter until it went on so long it felt like spring

:53:03.:53:08.

would never come. But Andy got the polytunnels up in

:53:09.:53:13.

time to protect his army of pollenating bees, and they certainly

:53:13.:53:21.

did their job. July's heatwave could have threatened the harvest, but by

:53:21.:53:25.

venting his tunnels, Andy was able to make the most of the sun and use

:53:25.:53:27.

it to ripen his bumper crop to make the most of the sun and use

:53:27.:53:33.

deliciously sweet cherries. Now harvest 2013 is coming to an end.

:53:33.:53:36.

deliciously sweet cherries. Now Andy and his team have picked 300

:53:36.:53:38.

deliciously sweet cherries. Now tonnes of cherries, and there are

:53:38.:53:41.

only a few small pockets of the orchard left to harvest.

:53:41.:53:47.

It is really hard work in the pack house, and actually quite cold as

:53:47.:53:50.

well. But it is very important that we keep the fruit as cold as

:53:50.:53:56.

possible to extend its life. How about the picker here? He He wasn't

:53:57.:54:03.

bad. He will get there slowly. You are tough! I know I am tough.The

:54:03.:54:08.

toughest thing is noting allowed to eat them as you're picking. That is

:54:08.:54:12.

torture. This is serious quality fruit. What sort of harvest have you

:54:12.:54:15.

had? It's been a good harvest this year as opposed to last year with

:54:15.:54:20.

all the rain. We had much better weather all through the season, we

:54:20.:54:25.

had good yields, good quality, and we've managed to make a bit of

:54:25.:54:28.

profit. What we need the money for is to reinvest. We like to keep

:54:28.:54:33.

looking forward, looking for better techniques, better varieties, and

:54:33.:54:36.

more cherries. I think that's lovely. That actually what you want

:54:36.:54:39.

to be is the best you can possibly be. That's the philosophy of the

:54:39.:54:42.

guys that work here, myself, and all the other guys. We try to do the

:54:42.:54:47.

best job we can and be the best out there. The sun is going down now,

:54:47.:54:51.

the end of the day, and the growing year for you? It is.Do you feel

:54:51.:54:57.

satisfied? Satisfied, definitely. It is always a little bit sad, really,

:54:57.:55:02.

to finish the season, but to be honest, the years go round, rather

:55:02.:55:07.

rapidly, as we get older, and we will be starting to work towards

:55:07.:55:11.

next season. I tell you what, well done, because I'll happily sit here

:55:11.:55:16.

and gorge myself senseless. You're welcome to. It's not just the local

:55:16.:55:21.

crop we're interested in, it is the national fruit crop as well. How did

:55:21.:55:27.

that do? From early reports, we can make some predictions. Let's start

:55:27.:55:33.

with our cherries. Like Andy, most cherry farmers are happy. The total

:55:33.:55:37.

British cherry crop is three times bigger than 2012.

:55:37.:55:40.

British cherry crop is three times Aroundthree and a half thousand

:55:40.:55:45.

tonnes. But our cherries are still dwarfed by Britain's ever-expanding

:55:45.:55:49.

strawberry crop. In harvest 2013, we grew 20 times

:55:49.:55:55.

for strawberries than cherries. Those berries were bigger than

:55:55.:56:02.

usual, and we are the too. -- sweeter too. Blackcurrants: after

:56:02.:56:09.

a couple of lean years, after a good winter chill means our blackcurrant

:56:09.:56:15.

farmers are smiling. It is still early days for the apple

:56:15.:56:21.

harvest, but the picture looks rosy compared to 2012 when terrible

:56:21.:56:26.

weather slashed our crop by a their. Harvest 2013 is almost back to

:56:26.:56:31.

normal, thanks to the sunny summer. The apples may be a little smaller

:56:31.:56:35.

than usual, but they're likely to be sweeter.

:56:35.:56:40.

Our great farme are - our grape farmers are likely to celebrate. In

:56:40.:56:45.

2012, they struggled to make 1 million bottles of wine. This year,

:56:45.:56:48.

we estimate grapes are up, and up, and up. There is likely to be three

:56:48.:56:54.

and a half million bottles of British wine if the good weather

:56:54.:57:00.

holds. Cheers. Overall, then, the fruit harvest has

:57:00.:57:06.

been good? In yes, I gather that the grapes exceptionally well. It's

:57:06.:57:09.

going to be a vintage year so our friends down the road tell us. Can

:57:09.:57:14.

we have a small celebration, then? Great. Particularly because apples

:57:14.:57:18.

did so badly last year as well and the year before, so it is really

:57:18.:57:22.

nice finally to have a good apple harvest. It must be nice for you

:57:22.:57:26.

guys to get to the end of a day? Yes. Of course, although we are back

:57:26.:57:30.

at it again tomorrow. Are you, Bev? Is that the case, you get to the end

:57:30.:57:36.

of the harvest and the work doesn't stop? They go home and we start

:57:36.:57:40.

cleaning for next year. Do you pull together or are you pushing them

:57:40.:57:45.

along? A bit of both!Says Gregg with a taste of experience!

:57:45.:57:52.

Well, what a year it has been. Better harvest than last year on the

:57:52.:57:55.

whole, I think, but then of course we've only touched on just a few

:57:55.:57:59.

crops really, and if you want to find out more, of course you can,

:57:59.:58:04.

and you can get hold of this harvest leaflet. Go on to our website: It's

:58:04.:58:12.

got more information, but also some rather lovely Gregg recipes in it.

:58:12.:58:17.

It will also give you details of free harvest events near you. Get

:58:17.:58:21.

involved. It's part of your heritage, and it is fantastic food.

:58:21.:58:25.

It's been a really good harvest. It's been brilliant - absolutely

:58:25.:58:29.

brilliant. Thank you very much. No problem. Cheers. Not going anywhere,

:58:29.:58:34.

are you? No.We've got this, we've got this!

:58:34.:58:40.

Right across our countryside it's harvest time. Gregg Wallace and Philippa Forrester are down on the farm revealing the results of this year's harvest as it comes in. This is the spectacular climax of the farming year, when fortunes are won or lost in the attempt to put food on our plates. Our farmers have spent all year carefully tending their crops helped by the very latest science, but they are still completely at the mercy of our fickle weather. Can they put a disastrous 2012, the coldest spring for 50 years and a scorching July behind them and work their magic to bring in a bumper crop?

In this third episode it's all about the 2013 fruit harvest, as we visit a pioneering cherry grower in idyllic Herefordshire. Gregg and Philippa join farmer Andy Hunt as his workers struggle to pick 40 million cherries by hand in just a few short weeks. The cherry was once Britain's favourite summer fruit but the traditional 20-metre trees were too tall for the speedy harvest demanded by the supermarkets. Amateur grower Philippa discovers how farmer Andy has nurtured remarkable new dwarf cherry trees over years to help bring about a revolution that's put British cherries back in our shops. Gregg joins the well-drilled squad of 250 pickers to discover how to harvest cherries quickly by hand without damaging the delicate fruit. Stefan Gates reveals why winter chill, pollination and ripening are so critical to a good crop. Gregg takes part in the Scottish strawberry harvest to discover if they can claim the sweetest strawberries in Britain. And Philippa discovers how blackcurrants must be harvested by extraordinary machines in a matter of a few hours before they ferment on the trees.

For the first time on TV, the series will reveal an early Harvest report for the UK, which will give an indication of which crops are likely to be the winners and losers in 2013. Fruit has had a bumper crop this year but which have been the sweetest of all? Harvest 2013 tells the story of food through the high and lows of a remarkable year of weather.

Harvest 2013 is supported by BBC Learning who have a produced a booklet to explain the science behind producing UK crops together with recipes from Gregg Wallace using harvest produce. The booklet will be available online at www.bbc.co.uk/Harvest.