With the amazing weather we’ve been experiencing recently, we decided to have a go at harvesting our own fruits and vegetables at Parkside Farm. Located in Enfield and about a 25 minute walk from Gordon Hill station, it was quite a trek to get to from Central London.
Before going, I would check their crop calendar to see which fruits and vegetables are available at the time. They close some days to allow the crops to recuperate, so I would also give their number (020 8367 2035) a call and an automated message will let you know whether they are open or not.
Upon arrival, you will pick up some baskets and bags for your fruit and vegetables which are provided free of charge and then you’re free to go wild.
We started off with the tomato area. At first we thought they were all unripe because they were green, but turns out they ripen and turn red after being picked.
Then we hit a sweetness in the air mixed with the earthiness of soil. We had reached the tabletop strawberries; rows and rows of them which stretched as far as the eye could see. It was so much fun hunting for the red, juicy berries amongst the web of leaves and we raced to see who could find the largest one.
These were honestly the sweetest, most juiciest strawberries we had ever tasted (perfect for our rose garden smoothie) and nothing like the supermarket kind which are often sharp and sour.
Although we filled a whole basket full, they were so good that we regretted not picking more!
We couldn’t find many raspberries though as these were just going out of season. But that meant that whenever we did discover one (like the one below) it made it all the more special.
There was a far greater choice of vegetables available as August is the best season for them. We only saw courgettes, beetroot, sweetcorn, spinach and french beans as we ran out of time for the rest (proably because we spent so long picking strawberries).
I think because we arrived pretty late into the day, most of the good courgettes had already been picked, so it was difficult to find any big ones. The corn field was our favourite because it was so satisfying to twist the corn from the stem. Here’s me pretending to admire a piece of corn!
We figured that the corn is ripe when the majority of the hairs coming out the top have turned brown. You can peel back some of the leave coverings to see whether the corn has ripened underneath.
Once you’ve picked all that you can possibly carry, you head back to the entrance to weigh up your harvest. It works out to be really cheap and for just over £6 we managed to get a basket of strawberries, 3 sweetcorn, 3 courgettes, a handful of french beans, 10 tomatoes and 2 beetroots.
They have a minimum spend of £3 per person for which you can pick so much, but if you’re wondering about the price ranges you can find the price list here.
In the shop they also have ice creams, drinks, meringues, honey, jams and chocolate dipping sauce. We got some of their chocolate ice cream which we wolfed down before we got chance to take a photo. It was so creamy and silky, making for the perfect finish to a relaxing day out.
All in all, we had so much fun and came back with lots of ingredients for cooking with. We would definitely recommend spending a day here as a date or as a day with the family!
For more information visit their website.
J & C