The first time we ventured into Pickwell Farm in Southampton was back in October, the entire family came down to pick some pumpkins because we had failed to grow any on the allotment last year and we had the most enjoyable time. Since then it’s safe to say that I’ve been a little obsessed with the place and couldn’t resist another visit. This time we were going to pick some fruit and I had a list of items I wanted to take back to Wales with me that afternoon. The sun was shining and we had our trugs at the ready for a morning of fruit picking adventures…
The farm didn’t disappoint and there was so much on offer; strawberries, blackberries, red and black currants, raspberries, courgettes, broad beans, peas, runner beans and rhubarb galore! All lined out in neat rows with helpful signs to point you in the right direction and the place was heaving with people. Little kids excitedly spotting strawberries amongst the foliage and filling boxes with the juicy berries to take home (and munch on the way!)
First off I wanted to pick some rhubarb, I had a few recipes I wanted to try out back in Wales so I picked a huge bundle to take with me. Unfortunately the rhubarb hasn’t grown well up the allotment this year, my crowns are still too young to pick and my Dad moved his crowns in the Spring which might have stressed them out slightly. Never the less there was plenty here to pick and it almost made it seem pointless growing it at home! My rhubarb gin and rhubarb cordial recipes will follow shortly and don’t forget my favourite rhubarb cake recipe which cane be found here: http://www.lavenderandleeks.co.uk/rhubarb-crumble-cake/
It was so nice watching my little nephew picking strawberries, last time he came here he couldn’t walk yet (although he didn’t like the feel of the straw lined paths under his feet!) He didn’t quite like the taste either but enjoyed putting the juicy red berries into his Mother’s trug. I can’t wait to have kids and bring them to places like this, they’ll learn so much about how food is grown and enjoy the taste of sun warmed strawberries too, what could be better?
I left my parents, my brother, sister law and little nephew picking strawberries whilst I went in search of the peas. I picked a couple of handfuls of sugar snap peas and made a mental note to grow them up the allotment next year. I’ve been buying them in packs lately in the supermarket and they are so tasty in stir-fry’s and alongside roast dinners.
After an hour or so of picking we headed to the exit to pay for our pickings and to look around the farm shop which was also jammed packed with goodies. I picked up some bramley apples, a cauliflower and a bottle of apple and elderflower juice before paying the grand total of £10.90. The peas cost me 44p and I paid under £4.00 for my haul of rhubarb which I didn’t think was too bad! We had a great morning out in the sunshine and supported a local business too, a win win situation for everyone.
I want to go back in a couple of weeks to pick some raspberries too, I never seem to have enough at the allotment to make jam with and I quite fancy making some gin too… Any excuse to go back to the pick your own farm though!