During July the weather has been gorgeous here in the UK, a little too hot at times to be honest, I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to escape from my desk and venture out on a visit to a “pick your own” farm. I have such fond memories of going to pick my own strawberries and berries as a child with my mum and dad, looking back I probably ate more fruit than made it to the counter but that was all part of the experience. Having not been to a pick your own farm for years, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my sunny Saturday morning.
Our choice of farm was Eastfield Farm, Tickhill, Doncaster, DN11 9JD. This farm is fairly local to us, a mere circa 30 miles away and very easy to navigate to along the motorway. I had read a couple of reviews about Tickhill and had seen a few of my friends visit recently which spouted my interest in visiting to experience it for myself. The farm was very easy to find using the postcode in Google Maps and clear signposting outside the entrance visible from both directions making it very hard to miss.
There is ample car parking at the farm on a grass field, and when we arrived there was plenty of people around and lots of cars parked. Well, it was an absolutely gorgeous sunny Saturday morning in July. Everyone probably had the same idea to make the most of our British summer while it lasts.
It is a bit of a walk from the car park to the strawberry fields, so if you have small children this is something to consider. Although there were lots of children around who appeared to be enjoying themselves.
On the walk up to the strawberry fields we passed the fruit bushes and the fields of pumpkins which have been recently planted and will be ready to pick in October. Great to see that such a seasonal attraction is branching out into other parts of the year. I’m sure both children and adults alike will enjoy returning in the Autumn to pick their own pumpkins.
Prior to setting off on our journey, I contacted Eastfield Farm on Facebook, as I had seen a post only seven days previous stating that their strawberries had been ‘very well picked this year’ and that they ‘needed a few days to recover’. Panic mode activated. But lo and behold, thankfully they were onto the next batch and some were ready for picking! Phew.
The advice from Eastfield farm is to walk to the flags for strawberry picking, and at first, we didn’t walk all the way to the flags as we spotted lots of strawberries lurking in the bushes. We stopped and started rummaging and adding to our punnet. Although we soon realised that actually the rows we were on had already been picked and the strawberries which were ready and ripe were few and far between. So we decided to venture a little bit further into the field. Bingo. Now we’d hit the jackpot. There were so many big, juicy, vibrant red strawberries we didn’t know where to start. The flags are clearly in place to separate the different variations of strawberries as they are ready over incremental periods of time. This way by going to the flags you are at the most recently ready strawberries and not at risk of wasting your time trying to find strawberries that have already been picked. The flags are almost at the far end of the fields now, so there isn’t much time left on this season so we definitely decided to go at the right time. The season only began at the beginning of June, so it has obviously been very popular this year.
Which strawberries can you pick?
As Lliam and I were rummaging through the foliage for strawberries we spotted several beauties, and by beauties I mean giant mouth-watering looking strawberries. However, we started to pick them and realised they had a white bottom. We both were unsure about whether or not these could be picked, so a little consort with ‘Ok Google’ and we established that in actual fact, unlike other fruits, strawberries do not continue to ripen once picked. So if you follow my lead and go strawberry picking, be sure to pick only fully grown strawberries which are red in colour all over.
Want a little tip? From our extensive field testing, we discovered that the juiciest and sweetest strawberries were the darker red ones. They taste gorgeous!
Here’s a picture of our final, somewhat overflowing, punnet.
Now that we were all strawberry picked out, and we were melting at this point as it was in excess of 25 degrees Celsius in the open field. We trekked back towards the little farm shop to pay for our haul. The little farm shop has so much more on offer than just ready picked strawberries though. There is an abundance of other fresh berries ready picked including raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, white currants, blackberries, and cherries. All of which are very reasonably priced and fresh too which is always a bonus. We didn’t purchase any other fruit while we were there, as I thought we’d have enough with the strawberries. Although, they all looked absolutely gorgeous and I’m sure they all taste lovely. Next time I visit, I will be sure to try some.
|Strawberries||£2.00 punnet ready picked
£2.90/Kg pick your own
|Raspberries||£2.00 punnet ready picked
£4.50/Kg pick your own
*Prices correct at time of writing post
Other items are available to purchase at the farm shop including fresh vegetables such as peas, onions, beetroot, potatoes, carrots and citrus fruits. Still not seeing something which takes your fancy? Well, how about some locally homemade chutneys, jams, piccalilli or honey? Or perhaps some free-range eggs or oils. If you fancy a little tipple there is also Brittain’s Gin and Vodka available to take home.
What else is there to do?
You’re probably wondering how you can make a day out of strawberry picking. Well, once you’ve picked your strawberries you can treat yourself to a cup of tea and slice of cake, or even afternoon tea in the on-site cafe complete with homemade raspberry jam! There is also ample space on site for you to bring your own picnic lunch and sit on either the grass or the picnic tables and chairs. Don’t fancy a slice of cake? Well, there’s also an ice cream van on site serving Thaymar ice cream made in Nottinghamshire, which I’m sure will keep everyone happy, especially on a hot summer’s day.
In my opinion this attraction is a great place to visit with a friend, loved one or family members. I had a great morning here and thoroughly enjoyed myself, bringing back those fond memories I spoke of earlier. It would be a great place to bring children of all ages as there is so much more than just the strawberry picking. And if the weather is on your side then you can have a great day here. Also, being so close to Doncaster itself you are within a short drive away from other top attractions such as Yorkshire Wildlife Park and Doncaster Racecourse.
Ideas for using strawberries?
So, we picked a grand total or circa 2.5Kg of strawberries on our visit. I think we may have got a little bit carried away trying to have the perfectly piled punnet to display at home. However, when I got home I realised I hadn’t even thought about what I might use the strawberries for. Jam, jelly, trifle, crumble, just a few ideas I was toying with. When I thought that I would try something I had never made before. So if you want a few ideas, here is what I made with my strawberries;
Thank you for reading. If you go and visit Eastfield, or have already visited let me know what you thought. If you tried some of the other produce let me know how it was too. It’d be great to hear from you about your experience.
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