Last week, the girls and I went to – what I think is – London’s only ‘pick your own’ farm, Parkside Farm. Parkside grow around 20 different fruits and vegetables for PYO between June and October. It’s only about a mile from us so it’s quite unbelievable that we’ve never been before – it was a great morning out.
After we had picked up our containers, we started at the strawberries. They have a couple of different varieties which grow at waist height – so perfect for little ones to reach and for grown ups to pick without too much bending down. The downside was that it was easy for Imogen to run under the rows of strawberries and more tricky for me to follow her! Technically, strawberry season is over but Parkside use different varieties, to keep it going throughout the summer. Picking the fruit is absolutely addictive! We ended up with nearly 3kg of strawberries. Eating as you pick is forbidden but kids eh (sorry!).
Then it was over to the raspberries. These weren’t as easy to pick (they can break apart if you are not gentle) but we managed to get a fair few of these too. Imogen loves squishing these amongst her fingers – in fact most of raspberries were squashed by the time we got home so we made jam with them.
We had a bit of a sit down amongst the plants, to recharge our batteries, before moving on to vegetables picking. The kids enjoyed picking runner beans and beetroot. After about 2 hours of picking, the rain started to fall so we bid a hasty retreat back to the shop to pay. We also picked up Jersey cream, meringue nests and jam sugar!
There is a minimum spend of £3 per person (non-walking babies excluded), we spent nearly £30 oops. There is no picnicing allowed in the fields but there are a few picnic tables next to the shop. The shop sells cold drinks and ice-cream too.
Parkside has won the FARMA (National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association) PYO Award for 2015 (and many years prior). FARMA say that Parkside offers high quality produce, knowledgable staff, value for money and is a great destination for a family day out. Praise indeed!
I’m going to share the jam recipe I used soon (Rose & Raspberry Jam). For dinner that evening, I roasted the beetroot with garlic made a salad with green lentils, feta and mint – lovely!
Parkside Farm PYO
Hadley Road, Enfield, EN2 8LA
Open 9am-5pm Tuesday to Saturday and some Sundays. It’s a good idea to check their website to check what produce they have available before setting off or call their message line on 020 8367 2035.
About Hue Me Happy
Hue Me Happy is about finding the little rays of sunlight that help keep a sense of balance in every day life. For me these are cups of lovely coffee, a house or garden filled with flowers, time to think and be creative, being outdoors, wine infused evenings with friends and mini-adventures that take me outside of the normal routine. I’m Sian, a 40-something Mancunian mama living in north London.
This post was first published in 2015.