Last weekend, on the way out of London we stopped at Garsons pick your own farm in Esher. I have wanted to go for AGES! And it didn’t disappoint.
I’d only briefly Googled the farm after hearing about it and was happy to discover it was much bigger than expected! 150 acres worth of glorious fields to explore. No walking for us, we would be driving around the fields. Which meant it didn’t matter how much we could carry, we had an (almost) free boot to fill!
More than 30 crops are available between late May and October each year, so if you’re not a huge fan of fruit and veg, there is bound to be something that tickles your pickle.
We started with the beetroots, which looked a bit sad as people had plucked some from the ground and then neglected them on top of the soil. Maybe overexcited people (like me) jumped out at the first field and that’s the reason it looks trampled.
Anyway, I LOVE beetroot, especially roasted in the oven with lots of salt. Roasts exist for me all year round, no matter if it’s 26 degrees outside – there is never a bad time to have a roast! They are too yummy to only be eaten half of the year.
Then on to the carrots. After seeing their bushy green sprouting tops I was expecting gigantic foot long orange batons, but no, they were teeny little carrots. Weirdly, they smelt amazing! We glazed these in honey and olive oil and popped them on the BBQ, delish.
Maybe a bit random for the barbecue, but brilliant.
Followed by the field of sunshine, flowers are the perfect pick me up and no flower looks happier than a nodding bright yellow sunflower. I wasn’t prepared for how difficult they would be to twist/pull/yank apart, unless you wanted to take the whole plant including roots from the ground, it was no mean feat picking them!
Below: sunflowers ignoring me.
Then, the best till last… The main reason we visited Garsons. Strawberries! Very good business idea saving the strawberries for the last field, and by far the busiest part of the route round.
We filled our punnets pretty fast! We did eat a few berries while picking (how could anyone resist), but be warned there are strawberry wardens with walkie talkies patrolling the area. Try not to get caught!
Look at those beauties! They didn’t last long on the car journey.
The staff ask you to keep your receipts at every pay point along the farm and on exit your whole car will be given a thorough check over – including the boot! If you were thinking of stealing a hessian sack of apples to sell to Wholefoods, Garsons are ahead of the game.
Once you’ve toured the fields, the fun doesn’t stop there. They have a lovely farm shop too!