The pick-your-own (PYO) fruit season has begun early in the UK, as a result of all the bouts of warm weather we’ve been having.
Strawberries are in season at the moment, and will be through to September, so heading to your local fruit farm will be the ideal Summer holiday, family activity.
This is also one of the best times to go fruit picking, if you enjoy fresh raspberries and gooseberries, as they’re also in season from mid-June.
Fruit picking can be a lovely afternoon spent out in the sunshine, with many PYO fruit farms popping up across the West Midlands, you can choose which offers the fruits of your choice - whether it be raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries or cherries.
Many of these locations also offer cafes, farms-shops, butchers and delis, so that you can enjoy a relaxing break, and try other locally sourced produce.
Here are some pick-your-own fruit farms within the West Midlands, which offer a variety of fruit, so the whole family can get hands-on with harvesting some fresh, juicy healthy snacks.
Caldicott’s Nursery, in Solihull
50 Lovelace Avenue, Solihull, B91 3JR
This small, family-run nursery has been in business for almost 100 years and over three generations of the same family. Originally an apple orchard with livestock, the nursery has evolved over the years, into growing flowers in greenhouses, and fruit in the fields.
Fruit picking for the Summer is set to start from mid-June, with strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, red currants, tayberries, and blackberries - all available to pick.
There is no booking required, you can just go along to Caldicott’s Nursery, pick up punnets or baskets and afterwards the fruit will be weighed, and you will then pay for the weight packed.
There is a £5 fruit picking minimum per basket, and typically most people tend to spend £5 to £15, depending on how much they pick. The nursery does not have a card machine, so if you intend to PYO, remember to take cash along, to pay for your fruit.
Manor Farm Fruits, in Tamworth
Watling Street, Hints, Tamworth, B78 3DF
The farm has been owned and run by the Clarke family for the last three generations, and is one of Staffordshire’s longest established soft fruit growers.
Manor Farm Fruits has now opened its pick-your-own fields for the season, and is open daily throughout the Summer from 10am to 5pm, with the last admission at 4pm.
Strawberries, gooseberries and raspberries are currently ready to pick, these will soon be joined by blackcurrants and blackberries which are set to follow in July.
As well as picking your own fruit, you can also have a full afternoon out when visiting Manor Farm Fruits. As there’s a snack shack serving drinks, snacks and ice-cream, with outdoor seating to relax and enjoy the views of Staffordshire. There is also the strawberry cabin tea room and restaurant, if you would prefer to stop for some lunch.
There is also enough entertainment to keep the children busy, with an extended playground area, and seasonal events like fairy trails and maize mazes.
To PYO fruit at Manor Farm Fruits, you must book on the website, they operate a ‘Weigh and Pay’ system - so you only pay for the fruit that you pick.
Essington Fruit Farm, in Wolverhampton
Bognop Road, Essington, Wolverhampton, WV112AZ
Essington Farm is a family business run by the Simkin family who have farmed in Essington since 1892, retailing quality produce from their farm since that date.
The farm offers a huge 50-acre site where you can pick your own fruits and vegetables. It is currently open to PYO strawberries, and soon you can also go along and pick raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, rhubarb, blackberries, and plums.
On site there is also a farm shop, butcher and deli, as well as a restaurant and kitchen - so you can make an afternoon of it. The restaurant also serves its popular afternoon tea and Sunday lunch.
To PYO fruit at Essington Fruit Farm, you must book a time slot on their website. The tickets are strictly limited and are £2 per person.
Malt Kiln Farm, in Coventry
Stretton-under-Fosse, near Coventry, CV23 0PE
Malt Kiln Farm Shop is a family run farming business in the midst of the Warwickshire countryside.
The farm shop is surrounded by fields, and during the Summer you can pick your own strawberries and raspberries, as well as a wide variety of other soft fruit and vegetables.
Malt Kiln Farm in Coventry is opening for PYO strawberries after June 18, 2022, you should also be able to pick gooseberries and raspberries - around this time. This will then be followed by blackcurrants in July, and blackberries in early August.
To PYO fruit at Malt Kiln, you must book a timeslot on the website, which costs £2.50 per person.
Whilst at the Malt Kiln Farm Shop, you can also stop for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea at Rebecca’s Kitchen.
Stanleys Farm Shop, near Kidderminster
Fishers Castle Farm, Harvington, Kidderminster DY10 4NF
This 250-acre family run farm, is based in the Worcestershire countryside, and has 25 acres designated for PYO seasonal produce.
Stanleys Farm currently has Tunnel Strawberries available, through until August, this will be followed by blackcurrant and raspberries from July, and damsons (plums) from August.
The Stanleys Farm Shop also sells fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as snacks and treats from independent producers, including Two Farmers crisps, Frank’s Biscuits and Nom salted caramel pots.
There is no booking required, you can just go along to Stanleys Farm Shop, pick your strawberries, and then pay for what you pick based on the weight.
Canalside Farm, in Stafford
Mill Lane, Great Haywood, Stafford, ST18 0RQ
Canalside is a family run farm that has been growing its own produce for the past 38 years. Since then, they have provided soft summer fruits, vegetables and garden plants directly to businesses across the region.
The farm currently produces over 40 tonnes of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries per season. Strawberries are now ready to pick at the Canalside Farm, and will be followed with raspberries and blackberries in July, and August. The pick-your-own farm is open everyday from 10am to 4pm.
Canalside also has a farm shop, with a butcher and an artisan bakery, as well as a deli selling locally sourced produce.
If that is not enough, you could also stop off for a bite to eat at the coffee shop, which sells sandwiches, hot pastries and afternoon tea.
There is no booking required, you can just go along to Canalside Farm, pick your strawberries, and then pay for what you pick based on the weight.
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