Summer is finally here and nothing is more appealing than the smell of freshly picked, juicy strawberries (preferably smothered in Laceys cream!) Here at Peterley, we’ve been doing Pick Your Own since we first opened in 1982 and it’s one of our favourite times of year. We absolutely love seeing children learn where their food comes from, getting to try fruit straight from the bush and feeling totally chuffed when they find the biggest strawberry in the patch!! It’s all great fun but there’s a few things we’d like to remind you before coming to Pick Your Own!
- We are a business! At the end of the day we don’t blame you for trying the odd strawberry here and there – who can resist?! But we simply can’t allow you to eat more than you pick… Please remember we are a business and a lot of hard work and money goes into growing these crops so we would greatly appreciate it if you did pay for them! After all, you wouldn’t go into your local supermarket and start tucking into the produce straight off the shelves…
- Our signs aren’t just there to add to the scenery! We really hate being a bore and putting up signs here, there and everywhere. But when we do put up a sign (i.e. ‘Please Do Not Pick This Crop’) please do take note of it. There is always a reason for a sign like this being placed, and we promise we’re not just trying to be a nuisance. After a crop has been heavily picked for a couple of days, it needs time to rest and time to allow some of the unripe fruit to ripen, this is why we rotate the areas where we are picking – to ensure we have a continuous supply of great-tasting fruit. Please do listen to the signs – Farmer Roger gets sad when you mess up his crop rotation pattern!
- Leave nothing but footprints… We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful area of the country and here on the farm we try our upmost to keep it looking topnotch. We would be so thankful if you did your bit to help our countryside and put any litter in the bins provided around the farm. Strawberry fights are all fun and games until there’s squashed strawberries everywhere, and someone’s taken a pip to the eye! Please, therefore, refrain from throwing fruit.
- Fancy a fruit medley? I’m a sucker for a fruit salad at this time of year, but please leave the fruit mixing for when you get home. Our fruit is all priced differently, so it’d be great if you could keep the fruits separate within your containers. This’ll help save time when you come to pay for your fruit at the kiosk or in the shop.
- Spare a thought for the farmer! I may be biased but my dad, the famous Farmer Roger, is the best! He works so hard and he’s so great at what he does. However some things are completely out of his control – the weather for example. PYO started late this year due to our long Winter and cold Spring, Farmer Roger did everything he could to get the crop ready ASAP, but he couldn’t get that old sun to shine. Similarly often some crops just don’t want to grow and some fruit crops completely fail, like our cherries have done for a few years. This is the risk you take when you embark on fruit and vegetable growing, sometimes nature is stubborn!
- Keep the tradition going! Lastly but most importantly, we ask for you to have fun and pick to your heart’s content! We absolutely adore the tradition of PYO and unfortunately it is an activity that has suffered in recent years, so please encourage your friends and family to get outdoors and enjoy the fruit at it’s freshest!
Circa 1998. Tucking into some freshly PYO-ed Strawbs whilst sporting the latest fashion trend.