At the ripe (pun intentional) old age of 23, it was a bit of a travesty that until last weekend I had never actually been berry-picking. On the blogosphere this seems to be one of those quintessential summer activities, and I am all for anything that makes me feel like I am making the most of the Great British Summer, fleeting as it usually is. That said, we took a trip to Garsons Garden Centre and pick your own farm in Esher, the largest in the UK, offering 30 crops grown over 150 acres. A very well put together outfit, visitors drive on a ring road from field to field and pay for their weighed produce at one of a number of kiosks. This day out is so much more than just strawberry picking. We made a slow start in the spinach and pea field, and I say slow because it takes a while to get into this, the crops are not at all as obvious as I was expecting them to be for a beginner!
We started with the raspberries which were elusive slim pickings at first. Cue philosophical rants about how in the future I would have more appreciation for the preparation of food we are able to just shove into a trolley in the supermarket without a second thought.
Cauliflower and cabbage, courgette, marrow and sunflowers
This was the highlight of the trip, very cool to be able to pull your own carrots out of the ground. As you can see I felt very rustic.
This was the corn, it wasn’t quite ready to pick yet.
We also had a dig for some potatoes
Lastly, the strawberries. This was the main attraction and the strawberry fields were heaving. Nonetheless there was still plenty of ripe fruit left to pick, and they were so sweet.
The apple orchard
It was hungry (and thirsty) work all this vegetable picking so after we weighed up and paid up we ventured into the garden centre restaurant for a spot of lunch. Toasted tuna ciabatta and a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, both with sweet potato fries, naturally.
This was what we picked, at a cost of just £12.47 which considering you pay for the experience too is pretty good I would say. And this was us enjoying the fruits (ha) of our labour with some strawberry cheesecake Haagen Daz. Summer loving.