With essential picking tips
On a recent trip to visit a friend in Surrey I took a detour and stopped off at a Pick Your Own Farm to gather up some strawberries for jam making and a few other supplies.
The place was called Garsons farm and just outside Esher. It was huge and as with many farms overflowing with a produce just wanting to be picked. It took me just about an hour to gather up the strawberries I wanted, then a couple of marrows, some beets and other berries. It was all so easy and I was able to pick the fruits just as I wanted them – underripe for jam making and ripe for eating. It worked out great value and I had to stop myself from gathering too much.
If you do not have a garden with your own supply of fruits and vegetables, a day out at a pick your own farm is a WIN WIN time for all the family. A fun day out in the open air which appeals to all.
The very young can see how and where different fruits and vegetables are grown.
Older children and family members may be more interested in knowing that the produce is locally sourced and seasonal. It can also dispel concerns about air miles and excessive packaging.
Parents have an instant source of food for cooking, serving and preserving and all the family can take part.
ESSENTIAL TIPS WHEN PICKING YOUR OWN
Call ahead to the farm you are planning to visit to check the opening times and what produce is available to pick. This will change from year to year depending on the weather. A fewer farms close at the end of August but most will be open through September and October.
Choose a good day. Dry and not after a long wet spell when the produce may be damaged. Not too hot. Take some bottled water.
Choose a time that also allows all the family to recover but still leaves time to start jam or chutney making soon after if that is the plan.
Remind all the pickers that there should be no eating while picking and that all produce must be washed.
Prepare for walking some distances between fields
Wear appropriate shoes or consider bringing boots if it is still wet underfoot
Wear old clothes which will not be a problem if the fruit stains and cover legs from brambles or nettles.
Make sure you only pick what you need and be ready to rein back the family!
FINDING PICK YOUR OWN FARMS
Follow the links below for list of farms in the UK
Lists of farms near London
Finally for youngsters old enough who are old enough consider summer or autumnal picking jobs here is a link which could take them all over the world.
Have a fun day out with all the family