Millets Farm Pick Your Own Fruit and Vegetables
I was lucky enough to be invited to spend the afternoon at Millets Farm, near Abingdon in Oxfordshire. What do you do if your Balcony Gardening crop fails or if you find that you simply can’t grow certain things? Well, Pick Your Own is a pretty good option, and I was keen to check out what Millets Farm had to offer.
We were taken on a tour of the fruit and vegetable farm and given a fascinating insight into the ethos of the place. Millets is a relatively small farm, growing a mix of fruit and vegetables. In terms of quantities, they harvest around 60 tons of strawberries, 20 tons of raspberries and 20 tons of plums. The vegetables and fruit are used for Pick Your Own and for sale in the Farm shop. Surplus is sold wholesale. They also use the apples and pears to make their own pressed juices (I have a couple of bottles to test so I’ll write those up later!). I’m about to use the rhubarb and strawberries I picked to make a compote. I have so much fruit in the fridge now that I’m never going to be able to eat it all, so I think a little preserving is in order. Apart from rhubarb and strawberries, I also picked a good bowl full of cherries, some redcurrants and gooseberries, some delicious raspberries and the freshest baby carrots I’ve had for a long time. The carrots I am growing on my balcony are not ready yet, but I hope they are as good!
The farmshop is full of lovely stuff! I ended up coming home with wild venison and smoked garlic on top of the fruit and veggies I’d already picked during the tour. They sell all their own produce ‘ready picked’ for those who don’t want to pick for themselves, they have a butcher and fishmonger, both with an emphasis on local produce and they have an in-house bakery too. I DID have to walk quickly past that part of the shop…it looked fabulous but I know I would have bought way too much and ended up regretting it!
Millets farm run a pretty impressive schedule of activities for the family too. They are well known for their maize maze (even I’d heard of it, from London and without kids) and they also have a farm zoo and a programme of events including a fete and theatre productions. There’s what appears to be a very pleasant restaurant and they offer wedding and private function catering. It’s easy to find, very well signpost from Oxford and the A34 and there is ample parking.
So, if like me, your outside space for growing things is limited, why not take a day out in the country and pick your own. Millets farm is close enough both to Oxford and to Bicester Village (where there’s a great shopping outlet) to make it possible to combine picking fresh fruit and veggies with some serious sightseeing or shopping. Or just spend a day at the farm!