I have fond childhood memories of visiting pick your own farms in Wales. After cramming more fruit into my mouth than I dropped into the basket, I’d return home, with a pleasantly groaning stomach and sun-blushed arms scratched by towering raspberry plants.
Although we live near Kent, ‘the garden of England’, we hadn’t taken the children fruit-picking before. I decided that this was going to be the Summer they learned, the fun way, that raspberries grow on plants, not in plastic supermarket punnets.
I didn’t know of any farms nearby, but a quick google search came up with a Kent pick your own website. Netmums also had a useful thread on the subject. Most of the farms on these lists have websites, and some even post weekly updates with details of which crops are ready to pick.
I chose Stonepitts Farm for the children’s first pick your own experience. The farm is just outside Seal, Sevenoaks, and its website boasted beautiful views over the Vale of Holmsdale. This clinched it for me. I’m a sucker for a good view.
We’d left it a little late in the year for strawberries, but there were plenty of raspberries left (at £2.75 a pound). There’s a campsite at the farm, as well as Christmas trees for the Winter season, and they run educational sessions for Primary schools. It was relatively quiet given that it was the school holidays. Overall, for beauty and tranquility, I’d give the place eight out of ten.
I was tickled to notice that the children didn’t take after me, and try to gobble the fruit while they were picking it. Austin was in a hurry to beat everyone else in the ‘race’ to fill his punnet. Gwen wanted to keep all the nice fruit for her raspberry smoothie.
Although it took us longer than expected to travel there (we were caught in traffic on the M20 – ugh), it was worth the visit. We live in a fairly central part of London, and I think it’s important to take the children out of town regularly, so they can gambol around in the countryside.
The day was rounded off by a visit to see my blogging chum Kelly, at home with her two gorgeous girls. If you read her blog, you’ll know her life involves a lot of countryside activities, including growing vegetables and looking after chickens. So, as well as being very enjoyable, the visit was the perfect way to end our day learning about life outside London.
Have you been on a trip to the countryside this year? Or done the journey in reverse – from the wilds, into town?