Is "ירקת ופרות" a set expression like "fruit and vegetables is"? In other words, would it sound a bit strange the other way round?
Is there any way to know that the pronunciation would be "uferot" and not "ufirot"? The yud makes me want to use the "ee" sound.
Just remember, unfortunately. But י has a Tzere sound (e) many times. ביצים, זיתים and so on.
yud is not vowel ee, yud is consonant like j, it changes vowel next to it. i don't know how correctly write these vowels on english, but they changed this way: a -> ya, e (like in lemon) -> je or ye, i -> yi. For example name אלנה will prononce Alena or Elena and ילנה is Yelena, not Eelena. So, it need to remember what vowel from these three was next to yud, because two other go with vav.
Why is ופירות pronounced uferót and not veferót? I thought and was always pronounced like that.
Not always. Some initial letters change it. פ is one such letter. פירות is pronounced "perot". Add the ו and they change eachother: the ו turns from "ve" to "u" and the פ changes from p to f. "perot" -> "uferot". On daily conversation we don't bother with that, we say "veperot".
I don't want to start an argument because I don't live in Israel and it's your language to pronounce as you wish. But when I visit Israel as a tourist, and if I eventually make aliyah, I will stubbornly continue to pronounce the vav ha chibur as oo when it precedes בומף
Why should that be accepted? That's not normal English. The word מגדל can be translated as 'grow' in some contexts and 'raise' in some contexts. In this particular context, 'raise' doesn't work in English. You don't raise inanimate objects.