It’s such a simple activity, but there’s something a little magical about fruit picking. With many PYO fruit farms operating a booking system to ensure social distancing during the Coronavirus pandemic, I wasn’t sure we’d get chance to do it this summer. It felt serendipitous when I spotted a recommendation for Scaddows Fruit farm in Derbyshire, just a few minutes down the road from National Trust’s Calke Abbey, which we already had tickets to visit. It was the perfect pairing to do a spot of strawberry picking before exploring a new National Trust property.
Where is Scaddows Farm?
Near the village of Ticknall, Scaddows Farm is just south of Derby and easily accessible from the M1. From Redditch, it took us around an hour to drive with shorter travelling times for those coming from Leicester, Nottingham, Stafford and Lichfield. We had no trouble following the sat nav, and particularly enjoyed driving through the very picturesque Ticknall village.
On Arrival at Scaddows Fruit Farm
When we visited Clive’s Fruit Farm a couple of years ago, the car park was fairly small and I was expecting the same here. I was a bit worried about capacity and being able to social distance. However, but the set up at Scaddows Fruit Farm is very different. On arrival, you’re met with a sign pointing you in the direction of the different fruit available. On our visit, strawberries were available to the left, with gooseberries and blackcurrants to the right. We followed the driveway to the strawberry fields and there was a wide open space for parking. Parking was a free-for-all, relying on customers common sense. I was a little worried we’d end up getting blocked in, but thankfully, everyone was sensible.
After picking up a basket from the entrance, and reading out the picking rules to Pickle (no eating in the strawberry field!), we went in search of strawberries.
Grown on the Ground
Unlike the other fruit farms we’ve visited, at Scaddows Farm, the strawberries are grown on the ground. This makes picking harder for adults but much easier for little ones, especially toddlers.We chose a row that didn’t have any other customers nearby to ensure we kept socially distant and got to work filling our basket. I enjoyed pointing out the different stages of strawberry growth to Pickle – spotting the white flowers, under ripe strawberries that still required more time on the plant and the ones that were perfectly red for picking.
Currently, Scaddows are asking for customers to limit their visits to two hours. For us, we didn’t want to over pick strawberries that we wouldn’t end up using, so we spent around forty minutes in the picking field before heading back to the pay station. We filled our large basket about half full and it cost us just over £3. I’d come prepared, and had a cool bag with a freezer pack in ready and waiting to house the strawberries so they wouldn’t spoil in the car whilst we enjoyed the rest of our day out.
Recommendations for your Visit
I’d definitely be happy to visit Scaddows Farm again – I did spot some pumpkins growing which would be a fun trip out in the Autumn as well. Laura from Little Ladies Big World has written about pumpkin picking here which has gotten me excited for a return visit. We didn’t stay longer than an hour, so whilst I wouldn’t travel all this way for just this activity, it was a great add-on that meant our whole day felt more special and planned out. If you’re looking to visit, keep an eye on Scaddows Farm Facebook page to see what fruit they have available – they keep updating their status to report on the fruit that’s ready for picking.
Now, I’m off to research some scrumptious strawberry recipes to make the most of our harvest!