Reklama, Reklama! Sasha exclaimed to me when I asked him why he was loading a trailer up with potato boxes.

Sasha hails from Latvia and he has an excellent understanding of English. Unfortunately, this seems in no way to have translated into an ability to speak it, so I am reduced to asking Maciek to interpret. The reply is astonishing – “Oh that’s Scryne language,” said Maciek.

Well, this was news to me I’m ashamed to say, but apparently a new language is forming on this farm as people adapt to their circumstances and find a way to communicate. I suspect it is no more than a mixture of English, Russian, Polish, Bulgarian and Romanian words, but that is how languages begin I suppose, and with all of the cultural variations blending together it would be a dream assignment for a social anthropologist to unravel.

Reklama, by the way, is Russian for an advertisement – Sasha was putting the sign up for East Scryne Farm Shop which opens this week with fresh strawberries, scones and coffee, although I expect ice cream sales might be slow unless spring might do us a favour and finally spring.

News on these pages last week that the persistent cold weather might lead to poor fruit set in Scotland came as something of a surprise to those of us fortunate enough to live next to the North Sea. Although we have had more frosts this April than we often see during a whole winter, they have barely been below zero and the climate in a polytunnel has been quite different, particularly as April has been a sunny month.

The sea is a great moderator of temperature. We hardly ever experience frosts in double figures below zero in winter and the cool breeze off the sea in the summer might prevent the stunning coast of Angus being the ideal spot for sunbathers, but for a soft fruit grower, the conditions are perfect.

And that is why Scottish soft fruit is so much better than anywhere else. Slower ripening fruit gives more time for the juicy, mouth-watering sweetness to develop, and although French grape vines might have been damaged in this remarkably cold weather, I am pleased to report that all of our strawberry and blueberry plants have lots of flowers on them, and very little damage. Rest easy fruit lovers, the Scottish soft fruit crop is on its way.

Cold weather can have a concertina effect as it can hold crops back which then all come at once when the weather warms up, but I don’t think it is going to have too significant an effect at this stage, provided we get decent weather for the rest of May.

If you walk outside the polytunnels, it’s a different story. Potatoes planted a month ago in cold dry conditions only have a small sprout and are nowhere near emergence. Rhizoctonia will definitely be a risk.

Grass has been very slow growing, too, and although all of our cattle are outside grazing, we are having to top up with silage and brock potatoes. A friend doing similar observed that at least this is a potato sale where there are no rejections and a 100% pack-out.

We still have a few hundred tonnes of Cultra left in our store with absolutely no certainty of a sale, and my senior partner and I have a different view on whether to keep the fridge on or pull the plug. Time will tell which of us is right, but cold weather is good for potato sales, so I have mixed feelings about wanting the weather to warm up.

While conditions next to the Angus coast might normally be relatively benign, things change rapidly as you drive inland. Take the Forfar road through the old Panmure Estate – past the grand old gatehouses straddling the wrought iron gates, firmly closed to intruders since 1715 when the Earl backed the losing horse in the first Jacobite uprising, and continue through a fine avenue of beech trees.

As you come out the other side, you are suddenly into different country altogether in the parish of Carmyllie, for although you are still only four miles from the sea, the road has climbed almost imperceptibly to 500 feet. The temperature can be as much as 10°C colder in winter and 10°C warmer in summer. Rain at the coast is frequently snow in Carmyllie.

The slightly warmer summer never quite compensates for the altitude and the combine harvesters tend to start cutting at least a week later than the coast, which is very convenient if you farm in both parishes. I have direct drilled a grass clover mix into stubble here. Watching kettles boil or paint dry can’t hold a candle to watching it creep out in this current cold climate, and who can blame it.

Nonetheless, Carmyllie is a beautiful part of Angus. You can lift your eyes up from the lifeless looking stubble field and gaze on the snow-capped hills of the Angus glens to the West. Then you can turn around and admire the sparkling sea to the east, the solid whitewashed stone of the Bell Rock lighthouse a speck in the distance, rising out of the shimmer ten miles out to sea.

Built by Robert Louis Stevenson’s uncle more than 200 years ago, the Bell Rock is the oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse in the world. It took four long years to build. Lighthouses are a bit like strawberries – the best ones take time. I’m hoping the same goes for grass and clover leys.