I love the idea of marching around the fields, picking punnet after punnet full of glorious, jewelled fruit .
I bring the children with me, and forget how fast and efficient they are at picking fruit. They are no longer toddlers who spend five minutes looking under every strawberry leaf for caterpillars. These days they can strip a blackcurrant bush of it's fruit before you can say 'Ribena'.
I loose all sense of perspective as I stand in a massive farm, with fruit bushes, trees and neat rows of vegetables stretching away literally as far as the eye can see.
My trolley full of punnets and bags looks really quite modest in this context.
I get back home, unload the boxes of fruit, and realise that I have got carried away at the PYO farm. Again. This happens every year.
I stay up until gone midnight, scaring myself witless with boiling sugar - jamming and canning all the fruit.
The next morning I look at the stash of jars, piled onto the top shelf in the back kitchen and feel so proud of myself. Here is a collection of summer fruit which will see us through the winter very happily.
I'll definitely be back again next year to repeat this cycle all over again. You can find some of my previous years' adventures at the PYO and in jamming here, here, here and here.
This year's statistics:
- 2 big punnets strawberries
- 1 big punnet plums
- 1 small punnet raspberries
- 1 small punnet blackberries
- 1 small punnet blackcurrants
- 1 huge bag French beans
- 3 courgettes
- 1 pot of honey
- 1 enormous plum crumble
- 1 blackcurrant and almond cake
- 10 pots strawberry jam
- 8 pots blackcurrant and blackberry jam
- 4 large jars of stewed plums
- 1 enormous strawberry and almond crumble