Strawberries for everyone! The summer season is renowned for many things – farmers harvesting in the fields, new potatoes on the dinner table and people jumping into lakes on long, sun-drenched evenings. But it doesn’t stop there. If you travel on any of Ireland’s roads currently you are likely to find men, women and children dotted along the roadside, selling – strawberries. One such family based locally are the Greene family. They live at Lanesboro Road outside Roscommon town and have been growing and selling their own strawberries for all of thirty years! Not only that, but they also grow a host of other berries too, owner Frances Greene informed me when I spoke to her last week. ‘Apart from growing our own strawberries, we also grow raspberries, tay berries and gooseberries as well as red, black and white currants’ she said. Frances has developed this mini-franchise over the years. What started off with a little garden of berries has now turned into an entire empire of the popular fruit! An achievement Frances is particularly proud of. ‘People should be as proud as I am at the fact that you can now get this fruit produced locally. I think restaurants and shops alike should be pleased to know they can rely on us if they wish to.’ Frances was also quick to highlight the importance and value of healthy food such as strawberries in an era where so-called junk food is getting increasingly prominent. ‘I think that it’s vital we keep producing this type of fruit for as long as we can. It’s healthy and natural and that’s important as everybody is so health-conscious nowadays’. Frances’ customers are not only locally based but also come from all around the country. ‘People passing from places like Dublin, Longford, Leitrim and all over the country really would stop and buy strawberries. We’ve been very busy recently’. Frances’ latest venture has been to make smooties as she has all the necessary fruit and ingredients to make smoothies of all different flavours. And when she is not selling strawberries during the summer months she is likely to be busy spending her time making jams of all sorts. An industrious woman!