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Sussex mallow trees bear bumper crop
As you all guessed, this is our April Fool. Hope it brightened your day.
A bumper crop of marshmallows in Sussex is ready for harvesting for the first time. The sticky fruits were first planted ten years ago at Tulleys Farm in Turners Hill, near Crawley.
But Denis Beare, the farm’s owner, explained that the crop is only the first since efforts to grow marshmallows began. His family has been growing crops at Tulleys Farm for more than 70 years but he said he had never seen anything like it.
He added: “We first planted the mallow trees ten years ago in the vain hope that they would do well. This is the first year the trees have produced a crop and it is a bumper one.
“Last summer, we had our best strawberry crop and to have a bumper marshmallow crop is just the icing on the cake.”
Mr Beare took over the running of Tulleys Farm from his father Bernard in 1970, who originally set it up in 1937 as a dairy farm. It now has a farm shop, tearoom, animal patch and children’s play area and is famous for its annual maize maze.
Mr Beare said he thought the extremely wet summer of last year followed by a wet and cold winter had created the perfect conditions for the mallow trees to thrive and produce a healthy crop for the first time. The farm’s staff will start harvesting the mallows today and selling them in the farm shop.
Mallows do best in marshy and very wet ground hence the name marshmallow. They are commonly soft white or pink fruits which have a spongy texture and a delicious sugary flavour.
The crop is traditionally harvested on April 1 each year and is usually combined with other fruits, cream and yoghurt to make a fool.
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