Friday, 8 August 2014

Pick Your Own in London

Parkside Pick Your Own strawberries
A Pick Your Own Farm - in London!? Yes, you really can Pick Your Own in the city (fruit and veg that is), so if like me you hanker after that childhood memory of strawberry stained fingers and a basketful of spoils or fancy making some new ones you don't have to be in the country to do it.

Parkside Farm in Enfield is the place to go, that's Enfield, North London. We went by car, I imagine it would be a bit tricky to get to by public transport but do like us and go en masse. Parkside are also proud winners of the 2011 Pick Your Own Farm award, I imagine they are in the running this year too.

The bounty at this time of year is abundant and of course the weather has been amazing.
On entry you collect your containers for free, blue and green baskets for fruit and plastic bags for veg. We noticed some more experienced pick your owners with their own containers (weighed on entry) and trollies!

The choice of produce is amazing, you can find a crop calendar and farm maps on the website.  I'll definitely be going back for squashes in the early Autumn. It's open from 9am-5pm everyday except Monday and the shop also sells honey, meringues, cream and jam sugar.

Available to pick presently: raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, sweetcorn, plums, redcurrants, cherry toms, beetroot, courgettes, marrow, spinach, swiss chard and green onions.

Signpost to bounty
We followed the signposts to the bounty ahead with our baskets and bags. First up, table top strawberries, which mean they are waist height rather than on the ground, easy for little fingers and big ones.

Strawberry fields forever

It's a family affair

Parkside Pick Your Own strawberries

After strawberries we went in search of plums, my heart was set on Victoria but we found this variety called Opal instead slightly bigger than a grape, and great for small children.

Opal plums

Next cherry tomatoes also at table top height for easy pickings.

Cherry tomatoes
Combine Harvester doing it

Raspberries too, gorgeous later I froze some and have just had a handful on my granola!

Parkside Pick Your Own raspberries, London
 And a field of sweet, sweet sweetcorn, look for plump bodies and dark beards (on the corn silly) for ready to pluck husks.

Get them to work early I say.
 I couldn't resist getting a bohemoth of a marrow (79p) which I intend to stuff at some point.

Spoils of the day
Entry is £3 per person, payable on leaving when all your fruit and veg are weighed, (price per kilo on the website). Ours came to the grand total of £11.49, a bargain for a day out with food thrown in! I celebrated later with a blackberry martini, well all that fruit needs using up.

This has to be good for you!

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‘They tuck you up your mum and dad...’
Anon - after Larkin

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