Monday, 13 July 2020

Strawberry Picking at Rectory Farm

Until I was 21 I had never actually been strawberry picking. A fact my sister in law could not abide and I was promptly marched to the strawberry picking fields in Scotland to have a go. I learnt very quickly that day that strawberry picking was less about the picking and more about savouring those sweet little tastes as you worked. I wasn't sure at first, convinced I might in fact be committing a crime by stealing fruit I hadn't paid for, but my husband fervently assured me that the farmers charge more for strawberry picking as they expect you to eat half your punnet before you get to the weigh and pay desk.

That is not the case however at Rectory Farm, our local strawberry picking spot, instead here it's cheaper by the kilo to pick your own which made it an even more enticing prospect for my husband when I suggested it as an activity for our staycation.

I had in fact only been strawberry picking that one time in Scotland and so it had been a few years since I'd had a go but I was excited to get stuck in. Rectory Farm is a great place for a day out and we've enjoyed their cafe and shop many times over the years. This year things have obviously been quite different due to the current pandemic, but they still bravely opened their shop and strawberry picking fields for all in April providing a much needed place to have socially distant fun for children and adults alike.

Unusually they also let dogs into the strawberry fields so last week on Friday the three of us toddled down to the farm and waited in a queue 2 metres apart with punnets in hand. We had two options for picking - table strawberries under poly-tunnels or traditional style, stamping through straw and bending down to pick our fruits. We went for the latter.

We had read recently that strawberries are healthy snack for dogs as long as they don't have too many due to the sugar content. Therefore we weren't too worried about letting Pearl roam a bit and enjoy the odd strawb that she found. She did however take to strawberry picking in a way we never could have imagined and was soon picking them right off the plant herself. We did our best to stop her eating too many know what dogs are like.

We ended our afternoon with punnets full of juicy strawberries, one dog with a bit of a sicky tummy, and a happy husband with his takeaway strawberry milkshake from the cafe. A very successful afternoon indeed.



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