Tuesday 14 July 2015

A day out 'picking your own' at Cammas Hall Fruit Farm

This week I had a wonderful day out at Cammas Hall Fruit Farm. The farm is run by the Lukies family and has been for the last 128 years. I had only intended to pop in and out of Cammas Hall, but having seen the vast amount of goodies on offer, not to mention the lovely cafe full of homegrown produce I ended up staying far longer than I anticipated ...

I wasn't the only one either ... friends, couples and families often spend the whole afternoon here; catching up over lunch while the kids play in the adventure playground, followed by a leisurely stroll around the fruit farm, picking and nibbling as they go (though bear in mind ready-picked is also available if you're in a hurry).  If you fancy a slightly longer amble, Cammas Hall have recently introduced a nature trail through the beautiful surrounding countryside - what a lovely, nature-inspired way to tire out the kiddies during the summer holidays, don't you think?

It was a beautiful scenic drive to the fruit farm, which took me through ambling countryside and quaint country villages. It was also clearly signposted (which is just as well as I'm capable of getting lost in my own back garden).

The barn is beautifully decorated inside and out, with fresh flowers, hops and bunting adorning the walls. Fresh produce lines the inside of the barn; the jams and pickles are all handmade on site, and even the honey comes from their very own bees! 

There are cooking oils, homemade cakes, fruit and veg, and even homemade ice cream which comes from a producer in Saffron Walden. Sasha; the lovely lady who was kind enough to show me around, told they always make a point of supporting local producers, rather than importing,  so what isn't grown here on the farm comes directly from local farmers and producers. This is excellent news, as not only does this ensure we get the best, freshest produce available, it also means there is no negative impact on our environment.

The lovely cafe serves sandwiches, homemade soup and delicious scones and cakes. So as it was lunchtime I thought it would be rude not to indulge in a slice of homemade fruitcake and fresh strawberry smoothie ... 

After lunch I wandered over to the playground and met this gorgeous pair - they graciously invited me to build sandcastles, but as I much prefer the slide and since I was eager to taste some delicious berries I decline and said "Toodlepip!" before bounding off towards the fruit, with my basket at the ready.

The fruit itself is juicy, sweet and far outshines the sub-standard berries found in our supermarkets. At this time of year there are: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries and gooseberries on offer. Sasha pulled a 'sucking-lemons' face when I told her I like eating gooseberries raw without stewing, "ew how can you?!" she exclaimed. I pointed out I also like eating fresh lemons so gooseberries are a walk in the park for me!

We walked through rows upon rows of fruit, and it was fascinating to learn how they work, and rotate the crops. I have a struggle keeping my hanging baskets alive so how everything remains so lush and thriving here is a mystery to me. 

Everyone I met who works at the farm was full of energy and enthusiasm.  Sasha told me she often arrives super early 'it's such a beautiful time of day, I often find myself standing in the cornfield, gazing over at the field of sunflowers opposite while feeling incredible thankful' ... and who could blame her? In fact the sunflowers should be out soon, it would be well worth a visit to see those alone.

So much care and attention goes into maintaining places like Cammas Hall, I think it's vitally important that we support them as best we can. Not only do we benefit from a lovely day out, fresh produce, and homegrown food, but it's also an invaluable learning resource for our children; it teaches them, hands on, about nature and about how food is grown in a way that books do not. It helps support local farmers and local workers, and it is far kinder to our environment. So before you pick up a box of strawberries and say "oh that's a pound dearer than Tescos" take a moment to look around you, and take in what it is you are paying for.

Where is it?

The Pick Your Own, Tea Barn and Farm shop are set in the beautiful countryside on the Hertfordshire/Essex border, but only a few miles from the M11, half way between London and Cambridge. There are acres of open space, plenty of parking, indoor and outdoor seating, a children's play area and some wonderful footpaths.

Cammas Hall Farm
Needham Green
Hatfield Broad Oak
Near Bishops Stortford
CM22 7JT
TEL: 01279 718 777

Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday 9AM - 6PM
and Bank Holiday Mondays.

JM x

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  1. Hi Jodie May!! I loved reading about "A day out picking your own" and seeing the lovely pictures.....the fruit looks beautiful and sooooo tasty!! As a fruit lover myself, whenever I see beautiful pictures as the ones you have shown, it makes me want fresh fruit!!! :) :) I love fresh berries of all kinds, grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, and watermelon and cantaloupe....so I love most fruits. I don't see how anyone cannot love fruit, how about you? Especially "pick your own" fruit!!! :) My husband's mother has always canned and frozen fresh fruit(made jams and jellies and marmalade)as well as freezing and canning veggies too....she is in her mid 80's now and still has a garden.....that is probably why she has remained in such good physical shape all of these years. I think she only takes one pill to this day. Take good care Jodie May and God bless you and your sweet family! Love to you all!!!

  2. This looks like a delightfully lovely place to visit! I would love to be able to pick my own fruits.


  3. What a lovely post! It's raining heavily here today in North Oxfordshire; perfect for sitting round the table and planning summer hols outings - might just Google how to get to Cammas Hall...

  4. What an amazing place! Our local fruit farms are wonderful but neither of them have a playground or cafe. (Mind you, one does sell amazing cream and huge meringues to make your own Eton Mess as soon as you get home!)