I will admit, that up until a few weeks ago, we had never been fruit picking. Ever. As shocking as some of you may find that I do have a semi-valid excuse. There are very few places to pick fruit here in Northern Ireland – which is a massive shame. And before visiting Finlay’s Place in Killinchy, Comber, the only other place I knew of to pick fruit – where the blackberry bushes down the by the dam in Castlerock.
So, with a fruit picking destination in mind, it wasn’t long before we were making our way there. Why fruit picking? Fruit Shoot got in touch and asked if we would like to get involved in their foraging for fruit campaign. Fruit Shoot has partnered up with foraging expert Fergus Drennan, to create a selection of top tips when foraging for fruit in your local area. It’s something we have never done before so we were keen to get on board.
Fruit picking, in my opinion, is such a past time thing to do and it’s something that I certainly never did as a child. So I was excited to collaborate with Fruit Shoot and to take my own kids to pick their own fruit. My youngest daughter is an absolute fruit bat, so she was excited to choose her own fruit on our little foraging for fruit adventure.
Fruit shoot sent us out this fabulous hamper to help us with our foraging for fruit adventure. It included lots of helpful little bits, such as; gloves, a magnifying glass, a helpful ‘food for free’ booklet, ice lolly moulds, little jars and a few bottles of Summer fruits Fruit Shoot.
We chose to travel out to Finlay’s Place in Killinchy, Comber to pick our fruit. It is a place we have never been before and if not for a good friend of mine, would never have been able to even get to the place. It was such a quaint place out in the countryside, birds chirping & surrounded by luscious green fields.
We had a quick chat to one of the farmers on site, he gave us a few punnets to put our picked fruit into and told us what was currently available on the farm. We went in late July and the only pickable fruit available was red berries, black berries & gooseberries. Everything else had already been picked and was even available in store to purchase. But we wanted to pick our own and decided to head for the red & black berry bushes.
My youngest daughter took a punnet and ran off into the fruit filled bushes to happily pick away. She had so much fun picking her own fruit and I have to say, it was really lovely watching her. All of the berries looked really delicious – growing our own fruit has always been a wish of mine – but the soil out our way isn’t the greatest. We are thankful there are places like Finlays to be able to go to pick our own if that’s what we wish to do.
After our berries were picked, bought and transported home – Fruit Shoot gave us the challenge to come up with our own Fruit Shoot flavour. My youngest son chose the flavour ‘BlackBerry Burst’ and he got onto the task of designing the bottle & label.
As he was doing that, I decided to make a selection of red & black berry ice lollies for the kids.
Foraging for fruit with Fruit Shoot UK was a really fun activity to add to our Summer bucket list. It’s something that I mentioned earlier in the post that we’d never done before but it will be something we will do again. We might try to go fruit picking a little earlier next summer – get some of those deliciously plump strawberries into our punnets. Fruit Shoot really prides themselves on having real fruit content in their drinks which makes for a great selection of fruit-based drinks.
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Do you go fruit picking with your children? What fruits did you pick this summer?
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Fruit Shoot.