Where to pick your own in Devon
Grab your straw hat and wicker basket: it's summer in Devon, which means it's time to PYO. From sumptuous strawberries to green veg to blooming bouquets, here's where to pick 'em.
Time to break out your inner Milly-Molly-Mandy, clear out some fridge space, and pick some darned delicious in-season fruit. And don’t forget to save a punnet for your tennis viewing. You might not be on Murray Mound but scoffing a home picked strawb is the next best thing for that authentic Wimbledon experience.
The Lychgate Cutting Garden, Landscove
How gorgeous – a place to pick your own posies from May to September. Rich pickings this month include sunflowers, sweet peas, scented stocks, dahlias and loads more. On arrival, you’re given a bucket and a pair of snips and you’re let loose in the cutting patch – kids and dogs are fine as long as they’re supervised. Prices range from £8 for a small bucket to £45 for large buckets, if say you’re sourcing for a wedding or special occasion. And if all that picking makes you parched, grab a cuppa at the Hill House tea room while you’re there.
Thornes Farm Shop, Stockton Pomeroy, nr Crediton
A new find for me, where I’m told folks come from the other side of the county to pick strawbs, beans, gooseberries, currants and razzers. The small farm shop is brilliant too – full of local Devon brands, craft and homeware. Come early and book in for a hearty breakfast – I can recommend the full English *dabs napkin*.
Shute Fruit, Bishopsteignton
A small PYO farm in a beaut of a spot right on the edge of the Teign estuary which opens as soon as the late raspberries are ready in late August, and then stays open until October, finishing with pumpkins and squash come autumn. Owner Lori makes amazing chutneys, jams and elderflower cordial too – my top tip is her Runnerbean Relish, made the traditional Devon way with lashings of Demerara sugar and spices. Locals can order cream teas from the farm gate and Lori tells me her next project is a venison company that delivers with Shire horses. Watch this space.
Strawberry Fields, Lifton
Yup, the clue’s in the name! Here’s an excuse for an outdoorsy family day out, with hay bales, novelty scarecrows and Lifton’s legendary cream teas a-calling. No dogs please and they’re very on it Covid-wise, so you have book your time slot (£1.50pp/under 2s free) before you go.
Pip’s Pick Your Own, Yealmpton
Head here for a huge range of fruit and veggies, including more unusual tayberries, logan berries, rainbow chard and herbs. They also produce their own unpasteurised honey, either in jars or slabs of delicious honeycomb. Open every day, with no need to book and you can top up your tank with a Surfing Cow ice-cream. Plus, if you need to do the rest your weekly shop, the excellent Ben’s Farm Shop is next door.
Oak Tree Gardens, Ashprington, nr Totnes
Your one-stop shop for summer berries – no need to book, just turn up to this small farm where fruit is £9 per kilo and you can mix and match your fruit. Don’t forget the cash as there’s no card payment. Don’t bring your pooch into the picking areas. Do tuck into one of their tasty locally made ice creams while you’re there.