Earlier in the year, we all went fruit picking near London and whilst we were there, we discovered that high quality farm shops do in fact grow vegetables too and even more exciting than that… they grow pumpkins! Just like 'The Ballon Tree Farm Shop' near York... So as we've focusing our road schooling in Yorkshire over the next month, we thought we'd pop in to have a closer look!!
So with Halloween approaching, now's the time to get your wellies on and pick the perfect pumpkin. Of course the supermarkets sell them, but there's nothing more satisfying for our girls than running around a field picking your pumpkin straight from the patch...... and it's super fresh too!
Locals will be familiar with the A166 (from York to Bridlington) as it's one of the most scenic routes to the coast (without the traffic of the A64)... but as we've only really explored York & the North York Moors we couldn't wait to see this area....
If you're looking for an American Pumpkin Patch with rows and rows of the biggest, juiciest and most orange pumpkins you’ve ever seen, well it's not quite the same.... but if you like the sounds of trampling on fresh straw as you search for your pumpkin for Halloween... then this is the place for you and there's plenty of choice too!!
Both girls are looking forward to carving our new 'family pumpkin' and celebrating 'All Hallows Eve' or 'Halloween'. Especially after seeing a totally different take on Halloween last year in Spain...... with enormous numbers of young children in the streets with more sweets than you could imagine... I mean imagine young kids will the size of sack that Father Christmas is normally shown carrying over his shoulder...... so full of sweets they literally spill out onto the road behind them!!!
Every kid loves the idea of filling their punnet jam packed full of fresh raspberries, strawberries or blackberries.... even sneaking a quick nibble too every once in a while! But as these strawberries made it into chef Tommy Bank's recent award winning 'Wimbledon Banquet Dish' on the TV series 'Great British Menu'..... there was little need to test their quality!!!
But we had a reason for this very late PYO afternoon..... the latest in our Bakery Blogs! This time trying to cook the perfect chocolate brownie in our trusty Adria Motorhome..... But we'll be back next summer to taste more of the 'Darling Buds of May' fruit picking experience... wandering straw lined rows of fruit in the June/July heat (not the late October sunshine!)
For those interested in knowing the best times to visit.... well Matthew Machin (head honcho) reckons you should pop along in late April (for the Asparagus), late June (for the Raspberries) and mid/late July (for the Strawberries) and middle of October (for the Pumpkins)
More and more young people are blogging about the food they like to eat, recipes they’ve created and yummy treats they’ve baked..... and our girls are no different. Especially after their food journey across Europe. So as we tasted the Italian Pizza in Naples, Goulash in Hungary or Tapas in Spain..... it dawned on us that our 'Roadschooling' could be supported by using food to help learn new languages, understand new cultures and also educate our girls about healthy options (vital fuel for their Family Adventures!)..... So we hope you enjoy the latest in our series of Bakery Blog with the ultra yummy, ultra healthy 'SweetPea Pantry' Super Duper Brownies!
Somewhat tired after a full afternoon spent in the fields., we grabbed a change of boots and headed into the award winning farm shop cafe/restaurant.... Hoping to find it easy to grab a table, we were surprised with the queues of people waiting outside! It's obviously pretty popular!
Full of seasonal menus (including pumpkin soup) it looks the ideal place to grab a hearty Sunday lunch or even pop in for a Full English breakfast enroute to the Yorkshire Coast or into York for some sightseeing.... Well priced at £20 for 2 adult lunches or even less for little people eating off the new 'Little Vikings' menu... it's great value for super fresh food that's apparently cooked from scratch on site!
For us the two tastiest dishes were the 'Fajhita Flatbread' and the 'Apple'n'Blackberry Crumble'.... but the girls were spoilt for choice in the well stocked 'Cake Trolley' that could easily offer something to grab with a cup of tea too!!
For those with energetic youngsters like ours, it wasn't long before the idea of time spent inside was being questioned... but there's a useful wooden outdoor playground (with digger!) or plenty of animals to meet... whilst we ambled through the well stocked farm shop!! With interesting meat (like the WAGYU) or Pork from nearby Thirsk through to an amazing array of jams, sloe gins and plenty more beside...
It looks the kind of place where you could easily spend a fortune (hence the reward card option there).. or the place where you could enjoy spending some time choosing a Christmas Hamper for the grandparents... But for now, these thoughts will have to wait... I've heard there are two new additions to take home in the van today!!!
For those interested in finding out more, you can find The Ballon Tree near Stamford Bridge to the south of York but don't leave it too long as the Pumpkin season will soon be over....
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