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Fryske Strawberries continues without paternal advice

He often said, "Make sure it doesn't look too red!"

Fryske Strawberries in Berlikum, the only strawberry grower in Friesland, is becoming increasingly well-known. People from more and more villages are finding their way to the stall at the farm, and the company is also showcasing their activities on social media. In lifestyle magazine Noorderland, Marlies and René van Wingerden give an even more extensive behind-the-scenes look.

"What do we do? Do we pick the small ones or leave them?" Marlies wondered on the morning of the interview. "You have to decide whether they go into class 2 or not. Class 1 has the finest; class 2 contains strawberries that are slightly misshapen or too small, but still perfectly edible."

"At such moments, I would have liked to consult with my father. I often hear him in the back of my mind. He used to say: 'Make sure it doesn't look too red!' That makes a lot of strawberry growers nervous: too much red means they need to be picked soon," explains Marlies.

"'Keep a close eye and stay updated,' he also advised," René adds. "Only when you pick yourself can you judge if someone is doing it quickly enough. By frequently observing the work floor, you maintain a connection with the craft. In principle, you can manage almost everything digitally from the office, but being there in person is better. That's why we start each morning with a round through the greenhouses and racks."

Marlies and René became the owners of the strawberry farm Fryske Strawberries in Berlikum, the sole one in Friesland, two years ago. The farm spans 1.8 hectares of strawberries in greenhouses, 1.5 hectares under tunnels, and 1.5 hectares on racks.

Cock van Overbeek, Marlies' father, passed away in June 2022 shortly after the strawberry company APM was acquired. Marco van Overbeek, a tomato grower and son of Cock, also reflected last year on missing his father's advice. He did so in the KasGesprek podcast.

Read the full story in Noorderland about Fryske Strawberries here.

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