There’s no doubt about it, few things beat ripe seasonal produce, particularly when you’ve picked it yourself and, judging from the crowds at Parkside Farm on Saturday, I’m not alone in thinking this.
Multi-award winning Parkside Farm is the gold standard of pick your own farms offering a large selection of crops (20 different fruits and vegetables), all clearly mapped and signposted. The farm is located just beyond Trent Park on Hadley Road, just to the north of Enfield and surrounded by beautiful rolling Green Belt countryside.
Once you’ve parked (there is plenty of parking) you queue up for cardboard baskets or plastic punnets for collecting your produce. We ended up juggling ours awkwardly, so it’s an idea to use one of their small trollies if you plan to pick a few different things (and if you’ve got kids in tow). It’s good to decide what you’re planning to pick in advance as it’s easy to get carried away – particularly when children realise how much they enjoy picking too. A level of self control is required. The prices are on par with supermarkets, so don’t expect real bargains, however, the produce is excellent quality and oh so local. Check the farm’s helpful website for what’s ready to pick and the cost per kilo.
Although it was very busy on our visit, the large scale of the farm allows you to get away from the crowds and appreciate the countryside. There are picnic areas and lots of space for children to run around, making it ideal for families and a great day out during the school holidays. Do bear in mind, though, that popular crops are targeted quickly so try to arrive early in the day. By mid afternoon on Saturday there weren’t many strawberries left, so we just gazed at mouthwatering berries ripening in cordoned off areas. However, we had loaded up with some of the most fabulous raspberries I’ve ever tasted which were quickly transformed into jam. We faced the crowds again in the farm shop to settle up and where we also bought some Jersey cream, jam sugar and a jar of their own honey. We loved it and will be back very soon for some of those strawberries…
Opening hours: 9am – 5.30pm (last entry 4.30pm); closed Mondays.
NB Sunday hours occasionally subject to change. Ring message line on Saturday evening to check.
Minimum spend £3 per adult/child applies on fruit/veg.
No dogs except guide dogs.
National Pick-Your-Own Farm of the Year 2015 and also Overall Farm Retail Champion 2015.