26 August 2012

A bit of PYO in the sunshine

I have lots of fond memories of PYO from when I was young. (That's Pick Your Own for those that don't know!) Spending hours rummaging through bushes to find strawberries and raspberries which rarely found their way into the plastic punnet and going home with red fingers and a sore belly.

Beautiful Ansty's PYO farm

So on a sunny Sunday a few weeks ago, I headed off with the current squeeze to forage for some fruit. We chose Ansty's Pick Your Own which is on the A30 about 10 miles outside of Salisbury.
The photos on their website don't do this place any justice, because it is absolutely stunning. The PYO is set at the foot of some very steep hills which are littered with huge, white regimental badges which were carved into the chalky hills by soldiers during the First World War. The rows of fruit are beautifully maintained and the whole place felt a bit like some of the vineyards I have visited.

The lovely farm shop at Ansty's

The farm has a lovely little shop and cafe with all sorts of cakes and organic produce for sale. We went home with more fruit than we could possibly ever have eaten and a selection of treats from the shop. It wasn't cheap, but it was very, very good.

Before we headed to Ansty's we went to a Pick Your Own place near Salisbury called Bake Fruit Farm. However, when we got there it was closed! On a sunny Sunday, we couldn't believe there wouldn't be enough trade to merit opening.

It's sad that more people don't do PYO. You get to choose the best fruit, you know it's ripe and fresh and it is certainly more rewarding than pushing a trolley round the supermarket. Essentially, it's like a workout and a picnic rolled into a shopping trip.

The only thing missing? A spot of champagne. It would have been amazing to sit in the sunshine, look out over the lovely view whilst dipping strawberries in a glass of fizz.