We have been growing strawberries at Church Farm, Sessay, since 1970, starting off with 2 acres, and gradually increasing to the present 12 acres. 1 acre of raspberries was planted in 1990, and this area has now increased to 3 acres. Alongside these fruits are also blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries and plums.
Over the years, new varieties of strawberries have been developed, and we grow a selection in order to extend the season and to produce quality fruit throughout June and July. Rosie, Christine, Korona, Symphony and Florence are amongst the strawberry varieties we grow (and we are always looking out for new ones which will suit our land and system). Our raspberry varieties are Glen Moy, Glen Ample, and Tulameen, which have done well for us. Each variety shows its own characteristics and flavour.
All the fruit is grown in a traditional manner, without soil sterilization, and open to the elements. Last year, this posed huge problems as we tried to pick fruit in one of the wettest summers we can remember. The tracks around the fields were only passable with a tractor and trailer, and wellies and waterproofs were the order of the day! Our pickers did a fantastic job in very trying conditions. Here’s hoping for a much better summer next year!
Most of our fruit pickers are from Poland and the Czech Republic, working with some local supervisors. Many pickers return year after year, which is good as they know our system, and we enjoy having some familiar faces on the farm.
We also run a farm shop during the season, selling the fruit both ready picked and on a pick you own basis. Church Farm is in a very quiet, and beautiful location, and many people love coming to spend time in the fields picking some fruit, whilst enjoying the atmosphere.
Besides the fruit, we also grow more conventional crops such as cereals, potatoes and fodder beet, as well as asparagus. We run a flock of 300 mainly Mule ewes and fatten our cattle inside during the winter, and out at grass in the summer. We are a family business and enjoy working closely with our customers, providing the service and high quality produce they require.
During Spring, our own reared Spring lamb is available from the Shop as well:
– Whole or Half Lambs, or just a joint for the weekend, or a few chops.
Our own beef is available to order – grass fed, and well hung, and cut to YOUR specifications.
Please call for prices.