VIENNA - There's been a tasty break-in at a farm in southeastern Austria, where a ton of strawberries went missing under cover of darkness.
Police in Styria province said Saturday that the thieves cut down a fence in Kalsdorf, near Graz, during the night and stripped 10 rows of strawberry plants bare. They say the fruit was worth some €2,400 ($3,030).
It wasn't clear who the thieves were or where the strawberries ended up.
Above is an image of "plasticulture" strawberries. These are fields that have been mulched with a heavy balck plastic, usually with an irrigation line under the plastic running along each row, and then strawbs planted through the plastic. This means that there are no weeds (or almost no weeds) without the use of herbicides, and the berries stand out like little "eat me!" signs when they're ripe. Works really well too, especially when you hill the rows first. When my brother, Frank Klassen of Sunnyside Fruit and Vegetable did this, that winter the deer decided that they'd found an amazing salad bar and ate every plant down the rows. However, the roots were sound, and the next spring presented an excellent crop despite the mid-winter nosh.