Fruity Farm Frivolity at Craigie’s, Perfect Strawberry Jam and a SPECIAL OFFER for YOU
When I was younger I spent many a summer afternoon on my hands and knees picking strawberries at a nearby farm. Tragically, this farm and many others like it have closed their doors in recent years. So when I decided, in a recent bout of nostalgia, to relieve my good friend of her brood and take them fruit picking for the last day of the school holidays, I had to do a bit of hunting around before I came across Craigie’s Farm, about thirty minutes from Glasgow.
Craigie’s farm has tractor rides, live animals, nature walks, a café and shop, and of course, fruit picking. It is fun, educational and best yet counts as one of your five-a-day. What more could a mother ask for? Table-top growing, that’s what. I’d like to think I still have it in me to make it up from a kneeling position unscathed, but for those who might find it a struggle, Craigie’s cater for everyone; growing some of their strawberries on raised platforms so picking fresh fruit doesn’t have to be back breaking. Sadly we weren’t there early enough for the Breakfast Tractor Tours and so, though they grow a wide array of fruit and veg we opted (perhaps in another moment of nostalgia) to pick strawberries, which thanks to frozen plants and covered tunnels can be picked at Craigie’s six months of the year! Ideal.
After some seriously extensive picking (the kids LOVED it), we made our way to the café completely laden with strawberries for a well-earned seat. And whilst the gang entertained themselves in the play park (complete with toy tractor, eek the excitement) I sat down with the man who runs the show, John Sinclair, over a brew, to learn more about the farm.
As I suspected, Craigie’s is a wonderfully family-run affair. John’s grandfather first came to Craigie’s over two hundred years ago and the Sinclair family have been running things since. Originally a dairy farm, Craigie’s didn’t even start growing fruit until the 1980s, but since then they have expanded to add the shop (great local produce at affordable prices!), café and butchery. What more do you need?
Maybe just the perfect jam recipe. I bow to John and his family’s superior jam-making skills and generously they have bestowed upon us a fantastic recipe for strawberry jam and some top tips for making:
Any problems? You could always go along to one of the classes run by John’s wife and mother (of course!). And to find out what on earth we did with all these strawberries coming out of ears, check out Mabel’s Kitchen and Mabel’s Nursery for some more scrumptious recipe ideas!
Thanks to the lovely John, you can mention Mabel’s Log when you book for the Breakfast Farm Tours (running this October) and get a FABULOUS 15% OFF!! To find out more information about this fantastic farm visit www.craigies.co.uk.