Rather than trawling the fruit and veg isle at your local supermarket, why not get some fresh air and visit a pick-your-own-farm. Get your hands a little dirty and forage for fresh, seasonal fruit and veg. It makes a great day out and if you have kids, then why not bring them along and teach them where their food comes from.
The farms usually offer pick-your-own from June to October but check the individual farms to see when they are open and what they have to offer.
Tip: The fruit and veg are likely to have a higher nutrient content as you are picking straight from the source, so why not stock up and freeze a batch. Try to avoid wearing white clothing especially if you are picking raspberries and strawberries.
Crockford Bridge Farm, Addlestone, Surrey - crockfordbridgefarm.co.uk
If you live in London, then this is the farm for you. It is the closest pick-your-own farm to London and is easily accessible. It offers 75 acres to browse and 20 crops to choose from such as strawberries, raspberries, pumpkins, tomatoes, asparagus, rhubarb and spinach. They also have an on-site ice-cream parlour, a farm shop with a butchers and a garden centre.
Parkside Farm, Enfield, Middlesex - parksidefarmpyo.co.uk
Set in the beautiful rolling greenbelt countryside, just to the north of Enfield, this farm has been awarded the best pick-your-own for several years. They have around 20 different crops ripening throughout the seasons including strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and blackberries. The strawberries are grown on table-tops, which means you can pick them without bending down (great for those with bad backs).
Trevasks Farm, Hayle, West Cornwall - trevaskisfarm.co.uk
Set amidst 28 acres of beautiful countryside Trevasks farm offers a great day out for the family. They grow a huge variety of crops including sugar snap peas, sweetcorn and plums. They have information signs dotted around the farm so you can learn while you wander and if it rains then get your wellies on as they have weather polytunnels, as well as shelter from the trees to protect you from the coastal breeze. They also have a fantastic restaurant and an award winning farm shop.
The Balloon tree, Helmsley, York - theballoontree.co.uk
This family run farm started with just a table on the side of the road and has now grown into a successful business. Their motto, ‘fewer food miles, more farm yard’, encompasses everything they stand for. They grow 30 varieties of soft fruit and vegetables, as well as table-top strawberries. They have a multi-award winning farm shop, animal corner, children’s play area and they offer tours of the farm and run community projects.
Llanvi Farm, Abergavenny, Wales - llanvifarm.co.uk
Run by Peppe, who was born in Italy and moved to the UK in 1957, and his daughter Claudia. They grow varieties that are not available in supermarkets, such as white strawberries and purple cauliflower and offer pick-your-own fruit including tayberries, blackcurrants and raspberries. They have a shop, play area, animal feeding and run events over the year that complement the work they do on the farm. They also sell and deliver veg boxes, where you can add additional local produce to your order.