Pick your own

  • A great way to get some fresh locally grown food. It can be a fun time out too.
  • Pick your own farms are specialised farms that grow produce specifically for the pick your own market, and are open for several months in the season. There are also some smaller smallholding farms that allow some public access for pick-your-own. Look out too for apple orchards. These may be open to the public for just a few weeks in the year, and are often involved in apple days in September and October. You may be lucky and find pears, plums and other fruit farms too!
  • If you're travelling by car, why not take a few friends too so that your trip is more eco-friendly!
  • It's best to pick produce when it's not been raining for a few days. The produce will store better if it's not wet, so do pick a good day.
  • Check what's available before you go. Usually this information is on the website for the pick your own that you are going to. If not, then ring them up!
  • Make a list of what you intend to come back with. This avoids over picking, as it's easy to get caught up in the picking and come back with far too much! I know, because I've done it!
  • Decide if you are going to pick anything for freezing. If you are, then make sure that the freezer has the required space and that you have sufficient bags or containers to store the produce in once it has been frozen.
  • Follow the rules and notices on the farm. They will tell you what is ripe now and where to pick.
  • Armed with a farm map, pick the produce that travels best first. That would be root crops like onions.
  • Pick the very soft fruits like Tayberries right at the very end. They just don't survive if you are walking around the farm with them.
  • When you return home, work with the most delicate produce first. If you are going to freeze anything, then start this going immediately. Don't forget to mark the dates on the freezer bags or containers.

Links

Pick your own

Pick your own