It’s strawberry time – and here’s where you can go to pick yourself a punnet
11 months ago
You know Summer’s around the corner when strawberry picking starts, and there are still some local farms where you can go and pick a punnet – or two – from this weekend.
According to Andrew Pimbley, director of Claremont Farm, in Bebington, the season has started a few days early this year.
“There is no norm now it seems for weather and seasons and, unfortunately, we are having to stop our asparagus season early!!
“But, we have the strawberries now ready to keep us smiling!”
He says the early varieties are ready even earlier, perhaps five days or so: “And the main crops will kick in in the middle of next week,” he adds.
“There’ll be a three or four week run depending on the weather.
“If it’s nice that’s great, it holds the fruit, but rain can damage the crop.”
So, keep your fingers crossed for sunny days ahead, and treat yourself or the family to a fun day fruit picking.”
And here’s where you can go:
Claremont Farm, Old Clatterbridge Road, Bebington
Pick Your Own has been an annual event at the Wirral farm for more than 40 years, and their strawberries are all still traditionally grown.
They have many different varieties of strawberries that you won’t find at the supermarket and, of course, they’re as fresh as they come when they’re just picked.
They will also have raspberries to pick in the coming weeks.
It costs £4.50 per person to go strawberry picking at Claremont, and that includes a 1kg punnet of the finest fruits.
You can pick more and pay by weight, and it’s around £8 for a 2.5kg punnet.
And, when you’ve picked as many strawberries as you want, you can treat yourself to a cuppa in the Claremont café – which also serves up locally-sourced dishes cooked by a talented team of chefs – and check out the farm shop which sells produce grown on the farm itself, as well as in the surrounding area.
Kenyon Hall Farm, Winwick Lane, Croft, Warrington
It might just be strawberries you can pick now at this Warrington Farm but it’ll soon be a whole clutch of other fruits as we go into summer, including gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, tayberries, blackberries, and a whole load of veg.
You do have to book to go here – although that’s only for picking strawberries! – and tickets are released two days prior to each picking day.
It costs £4.75 per person (over 18 months), or you can get a ticket for a family of four (two adults, two children or one adult and three children) for £16.99. For a family of five (2+3, or 1+4) it’s £20.99.
The cost includes a full punnet of strawberries (around 350g), with any extras again paid for by weight.
There is also a Farm Shop at Kenyon Hall, a cafe serving home-made hot and cold food and drinks, an outdoor picnic area and a children’s play area.
Sandhill Strawberry Farm, Warrington Road, Rainhill (just off junction 7 of the M62 – Rainhill Stoops)
This Rainhill farm will have strawberries and gooseberries ready for picking from around June 15.
It says as well as the season’s fruits, it will also have summer hanging baskets ready for sale.
Sandhill says: “Strawberry picking is a very English pastime, and it couldn’t be a more traditional, cost effective, and enjoyable day out for family and friends… with the real highlight being enjoyed at home after the excursion to Sandhill Strawberry Farm!
“Strawberries are, of course, available worldwide and throughout the year – but never taste quite as good as English strawberries, do they?!”
The farm is currently closed to visitors and recommends calling to get the latest information on crops ready to pick and when: 0151 493 2022.
Bellis Brothers Farm Shop and Garden Centre, Wrexham Road, Holt Village, Wrexham
Pick your own is expected to start from mid-June with updates posted on the website and social media.
Charles Bellis planted his first strawberry plant ‘Black Prince’ in 1860, and the farm opened its fields for ‘Pick Your Own’ Strawberries in 1967, since when more crops have been made available.
In recent years the farm has moved from field-grown to table-top strawberries which, they say, are easier to pick: “And you don’t have to bend down!” It also extends the pick your own season into the summer holidays.
Gooseberries and rhubarb will also be available from mid-June; later in June, redcurrants and blackcurrants, and raspberries in early July.
There’s a farm shop, butchers, and deli at Bellis Bros, as well as a restaurant, garden centre and gift shop. There are picnic tables too.