Pick your own fruit farms are a great way of getting high quality produce straight from the farm or small holding.
Known in some areas by the abbreviation PYO, pick your own farms can be found in many areas around the country.
As with all plants some will grow better in some areas than in others. Strawberries are available in most areas however, the season is quite short, only a few weeks in some places depending on the weather and varieties grown.
With the credit crunch really starting to bite and prices set to rise, gathering food when in season and storing it is one great way to save money.
Soft fruit, strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries can be turned in to jam, added to pickles or even made into wine or cordials.
Blackcurrants can be easily frozen and made into great vitamin filled crumbles and puddings during the winter. Nothing quite beats a blast of summer in the depths of a British winter.
Lowering transport miles
Using your local allotment or small holding as a source for fresh produce can also reduce those transport miles.
What could be fresher than a strawberry picked on your way home eaten that evening with some fresh cream or ice-cream.
Thirty minutes spent on a farm getting some green exercise and fresh produce has to be better than trudging around a brightly lit superstore buying fruit and vegetables often carried hundreds of miles.
Approximate prices for Pick your own fruit
Prices for produce will vary throughout the season and depending on your location. However, great savings can be made over the shelf price in your local supermarket.
- Blackberries, blackcurrants £4 per kg
- Strawberries £4 kg
- Apples £1.25 kg
- Cherries and raspberries £6 kg
- Plums £2.50 pe kg
PYO – vegetables
In the last few years pick your own vegetable farms have started to appear. Often running alongside a summer fruit operation, these farms extend the season for operators into early winter.
Common vegetables available include beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, courgettes, spinach and potatoes.
Many farms and outlets are members of FARMA – the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association.
FARMA works throughout the UK and is the largest organisation of its type in the world, representing direct sales to customers through farm shops, Pick-Your-Own, farmers’ markets, home delivery, on-farm catering, and farm entertainment.
Approximate prices for Pick your own (PYO) vegetables
- Broad beans £2 per kg
- French Beans £3.80 per kg
- Kohl Rabi £2 per kg
- Potatoes 60p per kg
Pick your own flowers
This is a new concept in the UK, however seems to be very popular in other countries around the globe. Some farmers are choosing to pre-pick flowers and make them available for you to choose your own bunch whilst others are allowing you to go in to the fields and pick your own. Charging is made for the bunch or per flower stem.
Your local Pick your Own farm
Let us know about your local farm or outlet via the comments box below.