School’s out for the summer but before you panic about what to do with the kids, why not take a trip to one of the Cotswold’s fantastic Pick Your Own farms? As well as seeing where our fruit and vegetables come from, thus making a connection between food and nature, the act of picking your own food could help fussy eaters to try new things. But there’s a whole lot more to these farms that just fruit…
Clive’s Fruit Farm
Based just down the road from our new Warner’s store in Upton-upon-Severn, Clive’s Fruit Farm is well-known for its extensive range of PYO items. Felix Clive first grew strawberries at the farm in the 1960s and is considered to be somewhat of a pioneer in the PYO world. Currently you can fill your punnets with strawberries – all grown at waist height so no awkward bending down – and raspberries, both grown in polytunnels so you’ll stay dry even if the weather doesn’t! There are also 20 varieties of plums and, from mid-august, almost 30 varieties of apples, many available for PYO. Later in the year, there are pears – a whopping 10 varieties – and pumpkins for Halloween. And if that’s not enough, Clive’s has just won the Three Counties Best Farm Shop Award for 2022!
Hayles Fruit Farm
Warner’s has been stocking fresh strawberries from this local fruit farm, based in Toddington, for about 15 years. That means that the strawberries you can find in our store this summer will have been picked just hours before. You could of course enjoy fresh strawberries within minutes of picking if you visit the farm yourself for some PYO. Later this summer, there will be plums and apples to pick, and in the autumn, pears and pumpkins. The site also has a lovely teashop, farmshop, campsite and fishing lake, as well as two nature trails (one pushchair friendly) so you can make a day out of it.
With over 15 different crops for picking, this popular PYO on the outskirts of Cheltenham is a top summer destination. Strawberries are the big draw, but don’t miss out on the other amazing fruits – raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, loganberries, tayberries and whitecurrants. Plums, apples and pears are available later in the year too. But it’s not just fruit at Primrose Vale – there are runner beans, broad beans and sweetcorn which are often available for PYO too, and if that’s not enough, you can also find the Cotswolds Posy Patch on site, a cut flower growing and workshop business! With a farmshop, café and outdoor play area, that’s summer sorted!
With over 35 years’ experience in the PYO business, Over Farm at Gloucester has this summer’s PYO nailed. Over summer you can pick strawberries, raspberries and blackberries on raised beds – keep an eye out for the Golden Strawberry and you’ll receive an extra special prize too! If you can’t get enough PYO, Over Farm offers a £2.50 PYO membership that gives you unlimited access to the PYO fields during summer. A really special PYO addition is the field of beautiful, blustery sunflowers – signs are that these golden beauties should be ready for picking mid-August but keep an eye on the website for details. For those of you with young children, Over Farm’s summer activities are legendary – book in for the Countryside Adventure with tractor rides, a maize maze, bouncy pillow and animal petting and enjoy the Big Summer Blow-Out with different entertainers on each day of the week for six weeks!
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