I’m going to put myself completely out there and confess that this day was my very first-time strawberry picking. In fact, my partner and I had both never been! So it’s safe to say that we might’ve been (definitely were) more excited than baby girl!
We drove to our nearest PYO Farm, which was Parkside Farm in Enfield – just over a 30 minute drive for us, which was perfect for a teething one year old. We went mid-week in the middle of the afternoon and marvelled at the space. The farm had at least 3 carparks and from what we could see, only one was nearly full – social distance wise, it was the dream! Like most activities these days, you have to book in advance online to avoid over-crowding. Once we showed our barcode via the e-mail sent at the front, we were given 3 cardboard baskets and left to roam free.
I plonked baby girl in the metal trolley, and we made our way up a small hill towards the last lot of strawberries. As we had got there after 3pm, a lot of them had been picked already so it’s a short walk all the way to the top of the farm. I always forget how lovely it is stepping ever so slightly out of the London bubble. I looked around at the rows and rows of field and even though the skies were grey and ready to crack, it was so lovely.
So lets get into the absolute best part of the day: baby girl LOVED IT! I mean what toddler wouldn’t? It’s essentially rows and rows of things up high for them to pick – if you minus the rows and rows, it sounds like a regular day in our living room. Remote controls, keys, candles, anything up high always seems to be picked. Needless to say, watching her in her element was the best feeling ever. She’d gasp every time she saw a new strawberry to pick, and sort of say “well done” to herself once she had picked it. Honestly, I cracked up every time, kids are so damn pure! I have to say, as it was more a quantity over quality angle for baby girl, a lot of her strawberries were a little on the green side, but A for effort for sure.
Much to my surprise and delight (and at risk of sounding like a complete novice/city girl), there’s much more than just strawberries ready to be picked. As we headed deeper into the farm we found rows of bushes with raspberries to pick and a little further in, courgettes, beetroots, white onions – the list is long! There’s something so satisfying about pulling a vegetable from the ground, therefore naturally, we got a bit carried away. We visited the farm last week and the fruit pretty much went within 3 days; however we are still eating courgettes with every meal. I’m also in the midst of researching creative ways to implement beetroot (other than in a salad) into our menu. So far, beetroot houmous will be making an appearance over the weekend and I’m toying with the idea of beetroot in chocolate brownies. All beetroot recipe suggestions are welcomed below 🙂
It’s just £4 per person for entry to Parkside Farm and everything you pick is weighed at the end and the cost is taken off your initial ticket value/fruit voucher. We spent an extra £3, so £15 in total and left with more fruit and veg than really necessary, but it was well worth it. If you’ve been following my Instagram stories, then you’ll know we’re well on our journey to getting baby girl to sleep in her bed in her own room. The day we got back from the farm, she slept in her bed the longest thus far! I’m not saying it was the fresh air, running around, excitement and strawberry eating that done it, but it sounds legit!
A fantastic day out for all the family this summer. The berries tend to thrive during the months of July and August however, always worth checking your chosen farm’s socials/website for an update on the crop available the day before you plan to visit. See the image below for more Pick-Your-Own Farms around London. Also worth mentioning: no poppin’ berries on the farms! (which is almost impossible to explain to a toddler, so good luck getting creative!)