Northumberland fruit farm shortlisted for national 'Pick Your Own' award

A Northumberland farm has been shortlisted for a national award.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 5:12 pm

Brocksbushes Farm, near Stocksfield, is a finalist in the ‘Pick Your Own’ category of the Farm Retail Awards.

The category, sponsored by Digitickets, has been judged earlier than others in the awards in order for the judging to take place at the height of the PYO season, allowing the visits to take place at the peak time of year for these businesses.

Brocksbushes is up against Bells Farm Shop in Worcestershire, Felderland PYO Farm in Kent and Lotmead Farm in Wiltshire.

Brocksbushes Farm, near Stocksfield.

Chairman of the Farm Retail Association, Rob Copley, said: “The quality of the entrants is extremely high and this will be a tough category to judge. This shows the calibre of our PYO businesses in the UK and each finalist should be very proud. We look forward to seeing entrants from all the categories now, and celebrating the very best in the business at our awards ceremony next March. Good luck to all our finalists!”

Brocksbushes Farm planted its first fruit crop (raspberries) in 1979, however things really took off when strawberries were planted in 1981.

The business has developed over the years to include a Farm Shop and Tea Room which now operates all year round.

The business was adapted to create a Covid-safe PYO experience, including introducing a one-way system and using booking systems.

As a result, the business earned a reputation for being a safe place to visit and received lots of glowing reviews.

Although 2020 was a challenge, furlough and homeschooling meant people came picking in June making it the best June, and season, on record (compared to comparable planting years).

In total, customers picked over 32 tonnes of fruit, resulting in next to no wastage.

PYO pumpkins started in 2019, and in the second year they increased the number of pumpkins sold by 245%. Double the number of pumpkins have been planted for 2021 and investment continues in this event which is a fantastic extension to the PYO season.

The other finalists will be announced at the end of the year, and farm retailers still have time to enter. Go to www.farmretail.co.uk/farm-retail-awards-2022

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