If you caught last week’s Sussex Gooseberry Fool recipe, you’ll know we’re enjoying a rekindled love of Sussex Pick Your Own farms. It’s a great way to keep your food miles down and support local and I’m sure my childhood summers spent picking raspberries are responsible for my great love of fruit. And although strawberry season may be over, there is still plenty of fruit and veg to be had.
Our pick of West Sussex Pick Your Own farms
For those in the west of Sussex, here are our favourite four PYO farms.
Roundstone Farm, nr Worthing
Offering a “guarantee that everything we sell at Roundstone ‘Pick Your Own’ Farm is 100% natural”, here you’ll find gooseberries, raspberries, plums, blackberries, redcurrants, black currants, rhubarb, pumpkins squash, marrows, courgettes and more.
They are open every day from 9 am to 5 pm but not when it rains.
Runcton Farm, nr Chichester
In between Chichester and Pagham, Runcton Farm also includes a well-stocked farm shop and rather lovely café. There is plenty of PYO at this farm with a choice of rhubarb, strawberries, loganberries, blackberries, runner beans, broad beans, French beans, plums and greengages.
They are open Wednesday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm (last admission to the field is 3.45 pm), again but not if it rains.
Paternosters Farm, nr Haywards Heath
Just outside Warninglid, this was the Sussex Pick Your Own farm of my childhood and it’s wonderful that all these years on, they’re still going. When I last visited (early July) they were concerned that they won’t have many plums this year but they have plenty of apples for picking. They don’t open for picking until late August or September but personally, that is my favourite time for picking and gathering in nature’s bounty.
New House Farm, nr Horsham
This is one for next year as this is predominantly a strawberry picking farm and the season is now over. However, they do have a great farm shop with lots of local produce and a tea room.
Our pick of East Sussex Pick Your Own farms
For those in East Sussex, try these four PYO farms.
Tibbs Farm, near Rye
I stumbled upon Tibbs Farm during the course of my Rye travels earlier this year. They have a café with fabulous views and even more fabulous cake so my visit felt like destiny but it was also well in advance of the picking season. If you head this way now, they have gooseberries, apricots, strawberries (when in season), raspberries, blackcurrants, plums, blackberries as well as tayberries, loganberries, tummelberries (no, me neither) and boysenberries (nope, but I want to find out).
They are open daily 9 am to 5 pm.
Maynards Farm, nr Ticehurst
Having been to school in nearby Wadhurst, this is another farm of my youth! I haven’t been in a while but they appear to have every fruit you could desire, including blackcurrants, redcurrants, plums, Morello cherries, blackberries and rhubarb.
They are open every day during the summer from 9 am to 5. 30 pm.
Oast Farm, nr Uckfield
I haven’t visited Oast Farm (yet or that I can remember) but rumour has it they have a great café and farm shop. Expect lots of their own produce in the shop. They also engage in the ancient tradition of wassailing (a singing and dance ritual to awake the apple trees and to scare away evil spirits) in January so they are definitely on my “must visit” list. They have some limited PYO plums, redcurrants, cherries and blackberries but you are advised to check first.
Sharnfold Farm, nr Eastbourne
There’s lots going on here (including a farm trail) so it’s a good one for families. When I last checked they still had some PYO strawberries left too! But if they run out, you can pick blackberries, rhubarb and redcurrants.
They are open 9. 30 am to 5 pm.
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