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Pumpkins a-plenty

The History of Pumpkins


Raspberry Fact File

Raspberries at Christmas!

Seldon Family Outing


Pick Your Own now open

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Pumpkins a-plenty
picked

Bella and Sophia chose their favourite pumpkin form the Posbrook pumpkin patch. 


The History of Pumpkins


The most recognizable symbol of Halloween is a pumpkin carved into a jack-o-lantern.

It is believed that the custom of making jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween began Ireland.

In the 19th century, turnips or mangel wurzels were hollowed out to act as lanterns and often carved with grotesque faces.

When European settlers, particularly the Irish, arrived in American they found the native pumpkin to be larger, easier to carve and seemed the perfect choice for making halloween jack-o-lanterns.

Halloween is based on the old Celtic holiday known as Samhain celebrated at the end of summer and the start of the ancient new year.

The Somerset village of Hinton St George has its own version of Halloween called Punkie Night

A Punkie is a hollowed-out swede manglewurzel. On Punkie Night the children of the village
carry their lanterns in a procession around the village on the last Thursday in October, chanting a special rhyme:-

It's Punkie Night tonight
It's Punkie Night tonight
Adam and Eve would not believe
It's Punkie Night tonight

We don’t have any turnips or manglewurzel for you to carve but we do have loads of pumpkins ripe for the picking, so come along and select your very own pumpkin straight from the field.


Raspberry Fact File

Ten Fun Facts about Raspberries
  1. Raspberries are really good for you. They’ve more vitamin C than oranges and are high in fibre. They are also high in potassium, vitamin A and calcium.
  2. There are over 200 species of raspberries.
  3. The phrase, ‘to blow a raspberry’ is thought to come from Cockney rhyming slang - ‘Raspberry Tart’- ‘F**t'.Raspberry Facts
  4. A tea made from red raspberry leaves is said to be good for expectant mothers since it helps strengthen the immune system, provides relief from morning sickness, improves blood circulation.
  5. Raspberries are not only red they can be purple, gold or even black.
  6. In times past the raspberry was used as a sore throat remedy and teeth cleaner.
  7. An average raspberry has between 100 and 120 seeds.
  8. Raspberries are a type of fruit known as an aggregate fruit. Aggregate fruits have flowers with multiple ovaries and each ovary produces druplets around a core formed by the flower.
  9. Raspberries have been enjoyed by man since prehistoric times.
  10. Unlike many fruits, once picked a raspberry will not ripen any more.  There's no softening up in the fruit bowl.

Raspberries at Christmas!

Chris and
Keith Miller are stocking up for Christmas with a freeze full of summer goodness.
Steve Harris raspberries freeze well and can be used frozen for smoothies or thawed for use in baking and sauces.


The best way of freezing raspberries is toRaspberries for the freezer dry-freeze them. Don't wash the fruit.
Separate the raspberries on a tray or baking sheet so that they are not touching, and place in the freezer.

When they are frozen and firm to the touch, pack them into bags or containers, seal and label.

Or you could use them to start off a Rumtopf - a jar full of fruit, rum and sugar which is left to marinate till Christmas - yum.




Seldon Family outing

Members of the Seldon family took dad on a raspberry hunt for Fathers Day at the weekend.

The plants are doing very well this year with loads of juicy fruit just waiting to be picked.
Raspberries



PYO NOW OPEN

Summer's here and it's strawberry time again.Dan

So come along to our fields down Posbrook Lane and pick yourself a punnet or two.

As usual our strawberries look great they taste amazing, whether you spoon on the cream, sprinkle with sugar or, if you want to be adventurous, try adding black pepper.

The pepper transforms their flavour. They become sweeter and richer. Unless you put on an enormous amount of pepper, you can't taste it.

So go on - give it a try.

Daniel with Mum, Karen finding the plumpest  fruit.





Picking
Libby and Sam with their punnets of Steve Harris Strawberries


News from our 2016 Season


PYO Raspberries in full swing

Now that summer is finally here its time to get out in the sunshine and pick some of our delicious Raspberries.

We've got rows and rows of the summer fruit just ready to be picked.

Did you know?Ruby and James picking the best

  • There are over 180 different species of raspberries.
  • Each Raspberry has over 100 little seeds.
  • They don't continue to ripen after being picked.
  • Raspberries can be red, purple, gold or black in colour.
  • Raspberries have been crossed with other berries to form new species like loganberry.
  • Raspberries are a grea source of vitamin C



Ruby (8) and James (10) making sure they get the very best



Sunny start to 2016 PYO season

Hundreds of PYO pickers flocked to the farm on the opening day of the strawberry season.
Grace
For the first time in weeks the sun was shining and it was a lovely hot day - just right for a bowl of Steve Harris strawberries.

One of our first pickers of the day was three year old Grace, who, with the help of Mum, Kerry picked a couple of punnet fulls.















2016 PYO season opens 5th June

Preparations are underway at Steve Harris Farm for the 2016 Pick Your Own Strawberry season, which is due to commence around the start of June.
Getting ready for the 2016 season
In preparation for the season we've been touching-up our sign boards and getting everything ready for the opening.


The actual date we open for PYO each year depends on the weather and the amount of ripe Strawberries on the plants.

The plants are looking particularly good this year with loads of pretty white flowers.

This year we are starting a bit earlier as we have such a bumper crop.

Always check out our  Strawberry hotline 01329  843377 for more information as we sometimes close for a day if the weather is bad.

Posbrook lane had been closed to traffic, but is now open, so come on down and pick some tasty Steve Harris stwarberries.

Ring our Strawberry hotline 01329  843377



Congratulations to winner of Steve Harris Cup

Steve Harris Farms have been supporting the community for years and this year we congratulate gardener, Ann Fulton, who won three top prizes at the recent Titchfield Gardeners’ Club Annual Show.
Ann Fulton with her cups
Over 300 entries were received for show last Saturday filling the Parish Room with a colourful display of flowers, fruit and vegetables, art work and photographs.

Ann Fulton was the most successful exhibitor walking away with three trophies but the show this year was remarkable for the number of entries received from first-time exhibitors especially from village residents who were not members of the club.

Picture shows Ann Fulton with her silverware, The Burneley Horticultural Trophy, The Steve Harris Trophy and The Meon Bye Trophy.





Serving up a Wimbledon treat                                                       10 July 2015

Why not watch the Wimbledon Mens Final as you enjoy a perfect summer afternoon with a bowl of Titchfield strawberries.Wimbledon treat

Wimbledon would not be Wimbledon without strawberries and cream.

Federer and Djokovic, are slogging it out on in the heat on Centre Court and you are in the cool, comfort of your own front room.

For a really memorable finals day drop in to our Pick Your Own fields first thing on Sunday, giving yourself plenty of time to settle down in front of the telly in the afternoon.

Come rain or come shine, it's one of the signs that the English summer is here -- but Wimbledon would not be Wimbledon without strawberries and cream.

The tradition of serving strawberries at Wimbledon began in 1953, while cream was added to the mix 17 years later in 1970. Since then, this simple but classic combination of flavours has become as essential a part of the tournament as the tennis itself!

Wimbledon may have 64 seeds in the men's and women's competition, but did you know there are about 200 seeds in every strawberry?

Did you know strawberries can help whiten your teeth? The acids in the fruit help to remove stains.

 Eight strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange, that's 140% of our daily recommended amount.

 The strawberry plant, along with its good mate the raspberry plant, are members of the rose family.



Raspberry PYO in full swing

Come on down to our farm off Posbrook Lane and pick yourself some tasty Steve Harris raspberries.
Joel and Izzy picking raspberries
Strawberries have a quite a short season but raspberries last a little longer and ‘come in’ a little later.

Raspberries are a very healthy food; they are high Vitamin C and naturally have no fat, cholesterol or sodium.

They are also a good source of iron and folate.

Raspberries are high in fiber. Half to one pound of raspberry fruit per day can provide twenty to thirty grams of fiber which is adequate for an adult daily nutrition requirement.

Select plump, firm, fully red berries. Unripe berries will not ripen once picked.

When ripe, most varieties achieve a darker blush at peak sugar and they separate easily form the core which remains attached to the plant. If you must pull hard to remove the berry or it remains attached to its core, it is not ripe!

How to pick Raspberries
  • Gently grasp the berry with your fingers and thumb, and tug gently.
  • If its ripe, it will easily come off in your hand, leaving the center part attached to the stem.
  • Repeat these operations using both hands until each holds 3 or 4 berries.
  • Don't throw the fruit into your containers.
  • Don't overfill your containers or try to pack the berries down.

When you get home
  • DON'T wash the berries until you are ready to use them.  Washing makes them more prone to spoiling.
  • Even under ideal conditions raspberries will only keep for 1 - 2 days in a refrigerator, so for best flavor and texture, consume them as soon as possible after purchase.





Raspberries PYO start from 1st July                                                       30 July 2015

We've had a bumper crop of tasty, plump strawberries this year and it looks like our raspberries will be the same.Raspberries

The raspberries alway 'come in' later in the summer and the quality of the strawberries is an inducation of how good the raspberry season will be.

Our raspberry field is just around the corner from the strawberries - look out for the signs.

PYO raspberries will start from 1st July.






Birthday girl Leyla just loves strawberries                                          15 June 2015

Leyla is just two and loves strawberries, so for a birthday Birthday girl Leylatreat mum and dad took her along to our strawberry fields so she could pick her own for her party.

The family drove over from Southsea to give Leyla her spectial treat on the first day of our season.

The last few days of warm, sunny weather has brought the fruit on exceptionally well and there are lots plump, juicy berries just ripe for the picking.

Drive down Posbrook Lane, Titchfield, follow the signs to the the PYO field and fill a punnet of tasty Steve Harris strawberries

We are open daily 9.30m till 5.00pm, weather permitting - if in doubt call our ‘Strawberry Hotline’ to check opening times: 01329  843377



Early to mid June start for 2015                                                      20 May 2015


FlowersThe 2015 Steve Harris Pick Your Own Strawberry season is due to start around early to mid June.

We like to see loads of ripe strawberries on the plants for you to pick and this year it looks like it will be another bumper crop.

Plenty of flowers means plenty of strawberries.

As soon as we decide the time is ripe we'll put a message on our hotline - 01329  843377 or keep checking the website.








Plenty of raspberries just ready to be picked                                 13 July 2014

We've had a great strawberry season at Meon-Bye greeting old friends and welcoming newRaspberry harvest 'pickers'.

For many it has become a bit of a family tradition to enjoy a day in the country picking one of natures great taste treats.

But, sadly, the strawberry season is over for 2014 but we still have loads of delicious raspberries waiting to be picked.

Raspberries add superb flavour and colour to all kinds of dishes from smoothies to salsas and dips to desserts.

Come along and pick some sunshine in a bowl.


Mum Claudine with Mia (6) and Ryan (7) in the raspberry patch.




The 2014 Strawb' season is underway!                                                 9 June 2014

Summer is here and it's time to pop down to Meon Bye Farm and pick your very own Steve Harris Strawberries.
Little Layla in the Strawberry patch
Following the recent fine and sunny weather, our strawberries have come on a treat.

They're looking good and taste fantastic.

One of our first customers today was little two and a half-yesr old Layla (pictured right) who soon had a punnet full, but there's still plenty more just waiting to be picked.

What better way to celebrate the summer than with a lovely bowl of strawberries and cream for tea.

We're open from 9.30am till 5pm every day (weather permitting - if in doubt call our Strawberry Hotline on 01329 843377), so come on down, we'll supply the punnets and you can pick the choicest fruit.

Our lovely Strawberries are just 1.50 per pound.

We also have ready-picked Broad Beans and Rhubarb on sale.


Getting ready for PYO 2014                                                             21 May 2014

The summer is on its way and it won't be long to the start of the Strawberry season.Getting ready for PYO 2014

The plants are looking particularly good this year with loads of pretty white flowers.

In preparation for the season we've been touching-up our sign boards and getting everything ready for the opening.

The Pick Your Own season should open in June but the actual date will be dependent on the weather and the amount of ripe Strawberries.

In the meantime you can always check out our  Strawberry hotline 01329  843377 for more information or keep checking the website.

We are all looking forward to a great summer and a bumper crop of lovely Steve Harris Strawberries.




Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb                                                            25 Feb 2014

It may still be winter but we've started harvesting already.

Our team of pickers are out in the fields at Posbrook selecting, de-leafing, trimming and boxing-up the rhubarb.Picking rhubarb at Posbrook

After weeks of appaling weather the team are enjoying the spell of sunny weather, making working out in the fresh air a joy.

We don't sell our rhubarb 'at the gate' as it mostly goes, via a wholesaler, to local supermarkets. Contact us direct for wholsale enquiries.

We'll be picking our rhubarb right through to mid summer.

For years the distinctively flavoured stalk was not a national favourite but following the rise of the celebrity TV chefs the use of the plant has reached ever increasing heights.

So while rhubarb and custard still goes down well, why not use it as a savoury garnish with chicken, pork or duck.

And don't forget its high in fibre, packed full of vitamins and low in calories. So pick up a bunch today and get cooking.

 

Bumper pumpkin harvest                                                                       25 Oct 2013

With just days to go till hallow'en we have been busy harvesting a bumper pumpkin crop ready for the festivities.

Most of our crop is destined for the supermarkets. This load is for Sainsburys.

Les Downes, pictured right, is giving the crop a final once-over before they are collected and taken to the store.

PUMPKIN FACTSLes Downes checking one of the pumpkins
  • Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini.
  • The name "pumpkin" comes from the Greek word "pepon," meaning a large melon.
  • Pumkins are native to Central America and Mexico.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,020 pounds.
  • Pumpkins take between 90 and 120 days to grow.
  • 90% of the pumpkin is made up of water.
  • Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.

Are you taking part in the pumpkin rolling at this year's Titchfield Carnival? The competition starts at 12.30pm in West Street on Sunday 27th October.




Get a Strawberry on your Apple                                                              Oct 2013


Apple AppTo help Apple ipad and iphone users stay in touch we have created a special Steve Harris app to take you straight to our web pages.

So you'll be able to keep up-to-date with the latest news from the farm, as well as opening times, while you are out and about.

To add the ipad or iphone app simply navigate to the Steve Harris home page then touch the action button on the device (Look for a small square with an arrow) then select 'Add to Home Screen' and you'll see one of our tasty strawberries right their amongst your favourite apps.



Signs of autumn                                                                                        21 Sept 2013
Pumpkin row
Although the weather has turned colder our fields are a-glow with rows and rows of bright plump orange pumpkins.

We pick the pumpkins when their skins begin to harden and the foliage starts to wilt and die back.

The pumpkins themselves, will continue to ripen over the coming weeks, making the flesh inside sweeter as the starches turn to sugars thereby improving the flavour.

But most will be hollowed-out and have a scary face cut into their skins to frighten away the devil at Hallowe'n time.



Busy time on the farm                                                                        11 Aug 2013

The strawberry and raspberry season may be over but it's still a busy time on the farm.

With the recent spell of dry weather we have been cutting our fields of winter wheat.

Cutting the winter wheat

Mark and Ian have been cutting the wheat using our own combined harvester with John taking the grain to Eric at the storage bins.

"The moisture content of the crop has to be just right," says Eric, "we can't cut if it's too wet.

The wheat will be sold later in the year for animal feed while the straw will be bailed and stored ready to mulch around next year's strawberries.

The straw is used to keep moisture in the soil and soil off the fruit.

Our next big job will be checking and preparing our pumpkin fields ready for Halloween time.


Raspberry season ends                                                                          8 Aug 2013

Sadly or PYO season has come to an end for this year.
Steve Harris Jam
As mentioned earlier the Strawberries were a bit late due to the late start to the summer but when the good weather arrived we had loads of plump, tasty fruits on the plants.

"This year," explained farm manager Eric Downes, "we not only welcomed back our 'regulars' but also had a lot of new customers.

"I'm sure they will all be back picking next year.

"Soon after the Strawberries were underway we were able to open up the Raspberry canes."

If you have made your own jam with our Strawberries or Raspberries and want to share your recipe with us, drop us a line and we'll put it on the website for all to try.

If you have any comments or have a recipe for us write to info@steveharrispyo.co.uk


Strawberries over but we still have plenty of raspberries                          23 July 2013

After a bit of a slow start we had a great crop of strawberries this year, sweet and juicy.
Raspberry Pie
The three week heatwave brought thousands of visitors to the farm. "The warm and sunny weather ripened the  'strawbs' perfectly." said Farm Manager Eric Downes.

The strawberries maybe finished but with have plenty of raspberries on the canes for you to pick for that special summer-time treat.

Check out the BBC's Good Food section for some great raspberry recipeis. Click HERE


The Raspberries have started!                                                                    July 2013

Our raspberry fields are now open for PYO and we have rows and rows of canes for you to pick from.Tasty raspberries

With all the recent sunshine we're expecting another fantastic year for our raspberries. It's the sunshine that makes them sweet and juicy.

Raspberries are quite fragile, so when picking handle with care. Store your fresh raspberries in the refrigerator and they will keep well for 1-2 days.

Raspberries not only taste great fresh with cream or meringues but they also freeze well and, of course, make superb jam.

So why not pop on down to the farm and pick yourself a taste of summer.



Strawberries in full swing                                                                                 July 2013

Andy Murray has won Wimbledon, Centre Court is silent, the crowds have gone home but that doesn't mean the end of strawberries and cream.Perfect for watching Wimbledon

Final's day saw hundreds of people on the farm filling their punnets for an afternoon at home watching the tennis final on TV.

With this recent bout of glorious weather our 'strawbs' are looking and tasting fantastic.

So take a drive down Posbrook Lane, look for our signs to the Pick Your Own field and pick some juicy strawberries.

If all goes well the raspberries will be ready for picking by the end of the week - check the hotline - 01329  843377 for details.


Strawberry season underway                                                                              June 2013

A little later start to the strawberry season this year due to the poor weather, but our 'strawbs' are tastier than ever.Strawberry fields forever

Our PYO strawberry fields are now open most days, weather permitting, so best to ring our 'hotline' (01329  843377) before setting off.

It's still a little early for our raspberries which should be available later in the month.








Late but sweeter strawberries                                                                        May 2013

Due to the late start of the warmer weather our strawberries will be a bit late ‘coming in’ this year, but there is good news! The Strawberry field

Fruit experts say the cold weather has caused a delay in the growing season and as a result the plants are stronger.

Stronger plants mean larger and sweeter fruit making our strawberries juicier than normal.

Our season begins early June and continues through until the end of July.

Farm Manager, Eric Downes, said: “The season will be a bit late starting but we’ll soon have plenty of lovely Steve Harris strawberries for you to pick yourself.”

Call our ‘Strawberry Hotline’ to check opening dates and times: 01329  843377


Rhubarb - vegetable, herb or fruit?                                                                May 2013

Rhubarb is the vegetable stalk of a large perennial herb but in the US it has been officially defined as a fruit.

Whatever it is, now is the prefect time to buy with the season peaking around May, June and July with late crops possible into the autumn.Steve Harris rhubarb

Rhubarb was used as a medicine in ancient China. It is said to have been brought to Europe by Marco Polo and has been eaten as a food since the eighteenth century.

Rhubarb tolerates most soils but grows particularly well on the fertile, well-drained soils around Titchfield.  Our plants are looking particularly good at the moment.

Unfortunately we don't sell our rhubarb to the public but welcome wholesale enquiries.


It's time to pick your pumpkin!                                                                       Oct 2012

We have a whole patch of pumpkins ready for you to collect.
Our pumpkins come in three sizes for you to select the best for your Halloween party.

2012 Season now over                                                                                       Aug 2012

The PYO season is now finished. We hope you have enjoyed your visits to the farm during 2012 and look forward to welcoming you back in June 2013.

Did you know that?

Our rhubarb has proved so popular that we've had to allocate over 10 acres to it!!



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