I am a musician/journalist based in West Yorkshire; find me online at www.taniajacquier.com
Published June 29th 2017
Strawberry fields forever
Horsforth Pick-Your-Own is a family-run soft fruits farm near Leeds, easily accessible from Huddersfield via a short train or car journey, that allows customers to pick strawberries and raspberries.
I have many fond memories of childhood afternoons spent strawberry picking, returning home with sticky fingers and knees, and baskets upon baskets of juicy red berries, then eating as many as possible immediately and turning the rest into a year's worth of jam. Accordingly, when I discovered that there was a pick-your-own farm near Huddersfield, and that my husband had never been berry picking, I had to check it out.
We went on the second day of strawberry season, which was mid-June in 2017 but typically begins around Wimbledon week, and were greeted by two enormous fields of strawberry plants. Although not all of them were ripe yet, there were plenty to pick, and we went away with two absolutely massive baskets of berries for £22; a bargain. The berries are either bought by weight, at £4.50 a kg, or you can fill up one of their large baskets, piled as high as you like, for £11.
The site is quite simply a group of fields with a small hut for the cashier, who is very friendly, and very kind about toddlers nibbling one or two berries whilst picking. There is car parking in the form of another field, but there are no toilets or hand washing on site, nor is there electricity, so bring wet wipes for sticky fingers, and cash to pay with.
The fields are open from 10am until 7pm, with last entry for picking at 6:30pm.
A word to the wise - the best berries are usually right in the middle of the bush, so don't be afraid to hunt!
If you come back with more fruit than you can eat that day, make sure to wash it and store it in the fridge to avoid it going mouldy, and if you are not going to finish it within two or three days, consider checking out their website a www.horsforthpickyourown.co.uk/ for some excellent recipes for jam, milkshake, and even a rich strawberry ice cream, or try freezing them to use later in smoothies.
As well as strawberries, Horsforth Pick-Your-Own also have raspberries. Their season is a little later than the strawberries, and is expected to begin in mid-July 2017 through to the end of August.