My story is about my parents' strawberry farming.
They moved to Mellby in 1956 and bought a small 300-year-old farm that had pigs and cows earlier. But during the 1950s, raising animals was no longer profitable in small-scale farming. So in 1958, they got in touch with Felix, which was a canned food factory at that time, and they got a contract to grow strawberries on their farm - there was a new sort on the market: Senga Sengana.
We planted the strawberries in August and the following year, you saw small plants appear. However, the two- and three-year-old plants had the best strawberries. All work on the farm was manual labour, for example, pruning or cutting weeds. We did not use any pesticide.
We used much of what we grew on the farm ourselves. We grew for example grain and used the straws to cover the lines between the plants. The chickens also living on our farm got the grain itself.
Throughout the 1960s, we had a contract with Felix and during the harvest seasons, we had seasonal workers helping us. During the 1970s, we cultivated the strawberries ourselves and people could come and harvest the strawberries themselves. The last year we grew strawberries was 1977 – it was simply too much work without the contract with Felix.
Apart from strawberries, we also cultivated apples: My father bought rootstocks, planted and propagated them by hand. We had at least 1500 trees.
I still live on the farm, but I have never worked full time on the farm. I have worked in the health sector instead.