Apart from a spot of city park foraging, a visit to a pick-your-own (PYO) fruit farm is one of my favourite ways to spend time outside, get closer to nature, and bring home a bounty of seasonal produce to enjoy. It’s a properly wholesome day out – a chance to escape the urban environment, slow down, and grab a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Fruit picking also engages all of your senses and demands a hands-on approach; you have to look for the ripest fruits, physically reach for them and feel their texture, and detach them from the plant or tree. In today’s fast-paced world, many of us feel disconnected from the process of growing food; fruit picking can reawaken a sense of gratitude for the earth’s resources and promote a more sustainable and mindful approach.
It’s also an inherently seasonal activity – as different fruits ripen at different times of the year; from strawberries and tomatoes in summer, to blackberries and pumpkins in the autumn. Fostering an awareness and appreciation for the cycles of nature, fruit picking highlights the importance of timing, perseverance and patience in farming and producing food.
The best places to go fruit picking near Cardiff
- Vale Pick Your Own: This family-run fruit farm is based in the Bonvilston, just outside Cardiff, and opens from June to August for PYO strawberries and raspberries. It costs £3 per car and you’ll pay £6.99 per kilogram of freshly picked fruit – there’s also a ‘maize maze’ for kids, and an on-site cafe selling hot drinks and cakes.
- Aberbran Fawr Farm: This award-winning campsite in the Brecon Beacons is an hour’s drive from Cardiff. With a PYO soft-fruit enterprise which normally opens from mid June to August, they grow strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries, broad beans and peas. They also sell potatoes, jam, free range eggs and other produce in the on-site farm shop.
- Orchard Cardiff: You don’t necessarily have to leave the city to PYO fruit! This not-for-profit community group helps people harvest, share and enjoy locally grown fruit from private gardens across the city. Harvest events take place in the Autumn; anybody is welcome to come and help (and share the harvest), with dates and times announced via social media. Note: if you have a fruit tree in your own back garden, you can also add yourself to their directory of Backyard Orchards.
Liked this post? Check out my guide to the Best Places to Pick Your Own Pumpkins Near Cardiff.