Ever since I was a small girl I have loved the idea of fruit picking. We used to pick gooseberries in my grandmother’s garden and she would turn them into a gooseberry fool or a crumble – just delicious. So when Little Sir and Little Miss finished school for the summer p, fruit picking was right at the top of my to do list.
So the first problem we encountered was, oddly, fruit farms all appear to have Monday’s off. It seemed a bit odd to me but everywhere we looked were closed on Mondays apart from Grove Farm near Leighton Buzzard. Thankfully it turns out it is only about a 30 minute drive from home, so by virtue of being the only one open on the day we had free, that was where we were going – and what a brilliant choice it turned out to be!
Having never been to a PYO farm before, I really didn’t know what to expect. We rocked up to find a pile of cardboard tubs (for fruit), plastic bags (for veg) and several wheelbarrows. Getting into the swing of things, we nabbed several of each and piled them into a nearby wheelbarrow and off we went. First stop, carrots. We were a little disconcerted to find lots of baby carrots sprinkled all over the floor, but we soon figured out that we needed to head further into the field and to use the well placed forks to dig up the carrots. Although they were confused at first as to where the carrots were, once they figured out we needed to dig them up, both kids were in their element and we ended up with a bagful of delicious looking carrots.
By now we were in the swing of things, so headed for the beetroot and onions both of which were relatively easy to dig up, although the children weren’t that keen on the rather strong smell of the onion field. It had been suggested at the beginning that we pick our veg first, and this was beginning to make sense as the wheelbarrow became fuller and fuller as we went. Then was the time for raspberries and strawberries. Surprisingly for me, this caused more difficulties than any of the veg. I spent a lot of time talking to both children about the colour of the raspberries and strawberries they should be looking for, but to begin with they just wanted to pick any they could find, so we did end up with quite a few green looking ones. Thankfully after a short while, they did get the hang of it, and we ended up with 2 large punnets of raspberries and strawberries.
All in all, it was a great day out and the children have asked to go back. We spent about £10 and ended up with large bags of carrots, beetroot, courgettes, onions, raspberries and strawberries, and the best thing is they are so fresh they will last so much longer than buying them from the shop. So the current plan is to head back to the farm every few weeks and see what else we can pick! Now, we just need to figure out what to cook with our haul!
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