RACHEL FOX
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Summer Fruit Picking

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There really is no need for me to go on about how much of a foodie I am. You already know how much I love to try and make everything from scratch, so the thought of going somewhere where I could pick my own fruit definitely excited me.

The spot my parents and I went to was Hill Farm, not far from where we live. At the minute they sell everything from courgettes to flowers to blackberries…they had it all. Hill Farm is a family run business set in attractive rural surroundings, on a hill overlooking Peterborough.

We were welcomed by their friendly staff where we were provided with our punnets. We went on such a sunny, warm day which added to the experience. The farm has an amazing family atmosphere; everyone is just there to enjoy themselves! There is a small playground for children and a place to get refreshments.

Of course we started on the strawberries. The fields were absolutely bursting with the ripest, juiciest, brightest looking strawberries so we quickly managed to fill up our basket! When you think of going strawberry picking, I was thinking of a small-ish field with a few areas to pick from. I was not expecting fields packed with gorgeous fruits; I was not expecting it to be so beautiful. I think quite a few people where sampling as they picked.

I also didn’t realise that there are so many varieties of raspberries, all with fancy names! We just took pot luck and started picking.

After strolling past blackberry bushes, red currents, tayberries (I found out these are a combination of blackberries and raspberries - firmer than a raspberry, but sweeter than a blackberry), wild flowers and so many gooseberries, we made it to the veg. Marrows and courgettes were ready to be picked. We opted for picking a courgette this time. I didn’t realise they grow along the ground and they were all huge and quite heavy.

Before we paid, we had a quick look in the farm shop. They had a wide selection of fresh vegetables and salad: most of this produce is locally grown. As well as the fruits and vegetables, they had local apple juice from Watergull Orchards, rapeseed oils and dressings from a local supplier, chutney and marmalade and Algy's popcorn, popped or un-popped.

Although not quite ready yet, there were the most amazing looking pumpkins plants, sweetcorn and squashes, growing away getting ready for October; how exciting. We will be definitely going back to pick some of these seasonal goodies.

Fresh, organic fruit is just the best and hand-picked makes me love them even more. If you’re ever after a little trip out, I would most definitely recommend Hill Farm. It was perfect.

Rachel

Food, LeisureRachel Fox