Thursday, 21 August 2014

Who doesn't like a proper pick your own?!

Today is a sad day for me. My Mum and niece Sasha who stayed with us for a month, have left very early this morning. I have heard briefly from my brother that they safely landed in Moscow, and tonight they'll be boarding a train for a 22-hours-long journey back home. We had precious times together, and managed to cram quite a few activities in these weeks. Pick your own was a fun day out.

I've got an apple!

It's just the right season for blackberries, plums and apples... When planning a pick your own, Millets farm springs to mind as an excellent spot for a berry- & fruit-picking session and a fabulous food shop.
I haven't visited Millets farm, Abingdon, for quite a few years. I don't drive, so it is not very easy for me to get there, but as my Mum and niece were staying with us for a month, I've been thinking of ways of making their stay more fun, and our friend Jen has kindly offered taking us to Millets farm. (I don't know where the apostrophe should go in the word Millets, is it before s or after, the website seems to use it without any apostrophe, so that's how I am going to call it as well.)
The morning wasn't very promising, and at 9 o'clock I thought we might need to cancel the trip altogether as it was downcast and even drizzling a bit. By ten the drizzle stopped and we decided to go, raincoats in the bags.

Oi, that was sour!

Luckily for us the weather has changed dramatically, and the sun was shy at first, but later grinned and sent its hot arms towards us. My Mum who my son calls Baba (grandma in Russian) is an excellent fruit-picker, her basket was full in no time, while we were still running around and sampling.

Mum says she looks like a daughter of Genghis Khan in this photo, now wouldn't that make a lovely title for a book?!
My lovely niece Sasha fluttered around like  butterfly, tickling my mini-tornado Eddie and chatting with him. It was Sasha who spotted the zucchini flowers in the fields which I later used for cooking a delicious dish of stuffed zucchini flowers.

We didn't pick an enormous amount, as I didn't fancy cooking too much jam. At the weekend I made a batch of mixed raspberry-blackberry jam and another one, of plum jam with Lady Grey tea.

Eddie was happy to help, but mostly he was running around like a demented happy billy goat. He also ate a bit too many blackberries.
There is a fabulous shop at Millets farm. If you don't fancy doing any pick your own, you will be spoilt for choice of already picked produce. They have a great fresh fish section, and an amazing array of jams and preserves. But prices are quite amazing as well, so I have spent a small fortune, paying for our picked berries, as well as the other food goodies like goose fat, two fresh trouts, a couple of jams, sweets for kids and more.

Mum, I had enough...
As we were putting the bought berries and goodies in the back of the car, my son has spotted a big merry-go-round and a bouncy castle, so off we went to explore the area designated for entertaining kids or Millets Maize.

My people wanted to go on the bouncy castle, but they don't sell the entrance tickets just to one attraction. You have to pay £17 for two kids and one adult, which might be OK if you plan to spend a day there, but pretty pricey if all you wanted would have been maximum 15 minutes on the bouncy castle. Also, clearly an adult just accompanies kids, it's not like I would have climbed on any of the equipment. So, a grumpy old woman that I am, I told Eddie I am not wasting money and he was crestfallen.

Luckily for him, there is a small size tractor just outside the maize. You put a pound coin in a slot, and can ride it for three minutes. Eddie had a couple of rides, and his good mood was restored.

He was ecstatic, riding the tractor. My niece explained to him how to operate it, and he was driving around with a big grin on his face.
Looking back at these photos brings back memories of a special time I had with my family.

 photo ActiveFamily150x150_zps28e829a4.jpg
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


  1. I love a good pick your own, we have made a couple of trips to our local one this year. #ActiveFamily

    1. I love PYO, and would like to go there more often, just need to find one closer to us.

  2. What a fantastic day, I adore pick your own, although my two seem to eat the berries quicker than I can pick them..!

    1. That's the fun part, eating as you pick berries.

  3. It sounds like you had a wonderful time with your family and understandably am missing them already! An impressive picking expedition and the jam flavours sound lovely. I agree with you, the activities do sound pricey, thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

    1. Thank you Fiona! We just need to go back to our routine, and soon with school starting we won't have much time for pining.

  4. We love fruit picking.
    We've a local one near us and end up spending lota of money but we are there all day

  5. Perfect! Looks like you found a really cute place too :-)
    Happy jam making!

    1. Thank you Steph! We have already polished a jar of raspberry and blackberry jam, it doesn't last long here

  6. Really looks fun! My dream activity to do this summer but theres no PYO farm near me =( #countrykids

    1. That's a pity! is there anywhere nearby where you can pick berries in the wild? We have a area by the river very near us where we go for blackberries

  7. I went to PYO this year but your fruit haul outweighs mine massively how fantastic!

    thanks for linking up with #ActiveFamily