Pick Your Own Produce in Yorkshire
by Kerry on 13 August 2011
There's something about picking your own fruit and veg that makes them taste so much better! Grab a basket and a bunch of friends and spend a day at one of these Yorkshire farms.
Give PYO a Go
Pick your own farms are popping up all over the country as more of us realise the pleasures in spending a sunny day out in the pastures with a basket and a bunch of friends doing it for ourselves. As well as being a lot of fun, you can get some great value fruit and vegetables without clocking up any food miles for your own summer and winter recipes.
The Balloon Tree
Where: Stamford Bridge Road, Gate Helmsley, York, YO41 1NB
When: May - October
During the summer months, you can arrive at The Balloon Tree, pick up a punnet and a map of the PYO trail and get picking! Summer berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are grown here, as well as currants, peas, beans, plums and pumpkins.
The Balloon Tree, located just North East of York, also has a farmshop and cafe on site, so you can buy rather than pick if you'd prefer, and enjoy a refreshing drink to round off the day before heading back to the lovely High Belthorpe Farm B&B, which sits at the food of the Yorkshire Wolds.
Church Lane Farm
Where: Hutton Bonville, Northallerton, DL7 0NR
When: June - August, 10am - 7pm
Church Lane Farm offers pickers the chance to pick strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, black and redcurrants and broad beans. They also offer tayberries, which are a sweet fruit that is a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry, named after the river Tay in Scotland. Make a weekend of it and book a night or two at Meadow Croft Bed and Breakfast in nearby Thirsk, a medieval market town which is worth exploring.
Wharfedale Grange Harewood Bridge Farm Shop
Where: Harrogate Road, Dunkeswick, Harewood, Leeds, LS17 9LW
When: July and August
Visitors to the Harewood Bridge Farm Shop, set between Leeds and Harrogate, can choose from a selection of fresh fruit and berries, including gooseberries, rhubarb, raspberries and blackberries. This makes a great day trip from Leeds or Harrogate, where you could base yourself at the beautiful Arden House. Shoppers can also grab some ready-picked vegetables like beetroot, broad beans and carrots in the farm shop or enjoy a browse in the Packhouse Gallery. The use of chemicals and pesticides is minimized on the produce grown at Harewood Bridge.
Birchin Lee Nurseries
Where: Holmesfield Road, Dronfield Woodhouse, Sheffield, S18 8WS
When: June - November, 10am - 6pm (Summer), 10am - 5pm (Winter)
South of Sheffield, just off the A61, the PYO season at Birchin Lee Nurseries runs from the end of June until mid-November. Visitors can pick fruit and veg, with everything from summer strawberries, raspberries and black currants, to rhubarb, beans and peas available for pickers to pounce on, and crops are grown to high standards to ensure a suitably delicious result! Whilst you're in the area, sieze the opportunity to take a look around the area. Base yourself at Throapham House, a luxurious 5 star bed and breakfast located near the charming village of Dinnington.
Where: Tickhill, Doncaster, DN11 9JD
When: June and July, 10am - 6pm daily
Found 5 miles south of Doncaster and around 30 minutes from Rotherham and Sheffield, head to Eastfield Farm for beetroot, blackberries, broad beans, red and black currants and a range of berries. They have a farm shop open during the summer soft fruit season, and visitors can treat themselves to a bottle of the farm's very own homemade raspberry vodka which is a perfect addition to summer cocktails. Combine a visit to the farm with a stop-off at one of Yorkshire's delicious delis or flavoursome farmers markets and you have the ingredients for a perfect picnic!
Norton Strawberry Farms
Where: Norton (Doncaster), Sheffield, Rotherham, Whitwell Common, Swanland and Roxby
When: June - end of July, 10am - 8pm
Embrace your retro side at one of the Norton Strawberry Farms, where you can head out with a basket and fill it with sweet, succulent strawberries. Bring the kids along and make a fun family day of it, and pick your berries depending on when you want to eat them, choosing very ripe for that day's dessert, or under-ripe if you want to keep them for a few days. You fill your basket and pay by weight, but if you pick under 2kg there is a 25p charge for the basket.
Where: Woodhouse Lane, Emley, Huddersfield, HD8 9QX
When: June - August
Perfectly located for day trips from Leeds, at Bentley Grange you can pick your own seasonal fruits including strawberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants. Staff will give you a bag to fill, or you can bring your own tub which will be weighed when it's empty so you don't end up paying for its weight.
Make a day of it and bring a packed lunch along, which you can finish off with some of your freshly picked fare. For a summer weekend away, why not stay at a local B&B in nearby Huddersfield - we love The Carriage House, which overlooks the Marsden Moors.
Where: Askham Bryan, York, YO23 3QY
When: June - August
During the PYO season at Bluebell Farm in York you can pick your own fruit, including strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries to add a personal touch to some summer puddings and pies. Stay the night at Pinfold Cottage in South York and, while you're in the area, plan a picnic at one of our picture-perfect Yorkshire picnic spots
Cover image @Photofarmer
Apples @Avia Venefica