Pick Your Own
Last week we talked a lot about gardening but, knowing that not everyone has the time or space to grow their own, last week the Nourish team checked out a great alternative, the PYO farm. There’s something magical about the very first time you visit a Pick Your Own farm. We don’t know whether it’s the scent of that warm fruit, or the promise of being able to take home piles and piles of fresh produce to indulge in.
It’s a really great activity for small people during the school holidays, little hands will be kept busy with all the picking and, ahem…..the odd sneaky snack on the way round! Walking miles around the farm whilst checking out the fruit might help ensure a good night’s sleep too! (if you’re struggling with getting to sleep in this heat why not try our sleep inducing cherry smoothie?)
We love that picking your own really puts kids in touch with where their food comes from. We think it’s very important that children know and understand how the food on their plates gets there. Encouraging kids to eat a wide variety of nourishing foods is a whole lot easier when they’ve been involved in getting that food onto their plates. Whether it’s growing a little cress on the windowsill or picking their own warm, juicy raspberries straight from the farm, creating that interest in little minds can help to start a lifelong interest in fresh, healthy food.
We’re pretty blessed locally in our little corner of the Surrey Hills to have a lot of choice and these three PYO’s are our local favourites.
We’re very lucky that The Flower Farm is super close to us. Not only do they have a great PYO they also serve an indulgent afternoon tea in their pretty tearooms and have a Farm Shop with lots of locally sourced produce from neighbouring farms. We really love that their Farm Shop produce isn’t packaged in lots of plastic and that it has such low food miles too, hurrah! They’ve offered PYO crops since 1975 and grow a relatively wide range of crops including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums, asparagus, runner beans, rhubarb and sweet corn. Head there this month (July) for raspberries.
Address: Oxted Road A25, Godstone, RH9 8BP. Tel: 01883 742288. Website: Flower Farm Shop
Garsons is our biggest PYO locally, for over 37yrs they’ve offered PYO with an incredibly broad range of crops to choose from. We’ve been meaning to visit this epic farm for some time and it certainly didn’t disappoint. We went home with a bumper crop of red and blackcurrants, as well as an armful of gorgeous Dahlias. The Thompson family have been farming here for over 145yrs and although it’s not an organic farm they use a minimal amount of pesticides, preferring biological methods. There is loads of free parking onsite and the café is worth a visit for refuelling after you’ve finishing picking. We loved the charred broccoli Cesar superfood salad, yum!
Address: Winterdown Road, Esher, KT10 8LS. Tel: 01372 464389. Website: Garsons
A little further afield for us but we’d noticed them selling their fab produce at local farmers markets and had eaten their lovely salad leaves in many Surrey and Sussex cafes, pubs and restaurants. The diversity of crops is good here, the rare white currant is currently cropping for instance (excuse the pun!). We picked up rhubarb for our crumble recipe here and some extra raspberries to add to our home crop. Why not take a picnic rug like we did and enjoy eating in in their vast grounds? Or head to the well-stocked farm shop, where we loved the wide range of interesting produce they had available. They also have a monthly zero waste pop up shop where you can refill any container with eco-friendly products from Bio D, such a cool idea, water pistol of shower gel anyone?
Address: Chapel Lane, Milford, GU8 5HU. Tel: 01483 520500. Website: Secretts