Perthshire is known worldwide for its fruit growing industry, but did you know that picking it can be a fun (and of course, tasty) activity for friends and family alike? We got in touch with owner Jamie Watson to tell us more about it.
“My farm, Mill of Montague is at Balbeggie, very near the city of Perth in Central Scotland, where I have been growing soft fruit for over 25 years.
The area is known for its soft fruit crops, and we are no different with strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants available at different times of the season. We also grow potatoes, peas, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, which are available to buy at the farm.
The area’s climate makes it ideal for growing with a long ripening time from flower to fruit, usually around six weeks. While most fruit farms use polytunnels these days, we are one of the last traditional fruit farms left in Scotland. We grow our strawberries and raspberries in the natural environment on Scottish soil and unprotected from the elements. They are allowed to ripen in their own time to produce the intense flavour that Scottish berries are famous for.
One of the things we offer is ‘Pick Your Own’, which is a great fun activity for families. Most people bring containers of their own, but we also sell baskets for 50p. Each basket can hold between 4 and 5lbs of fruit. No matter which container you use, you pick the fruit you want and then weigh and pay at the end. You can also buy vegetables at the same time.
The picking season usually begins around the end of June when the strawberries are ripening. In mid-July we have raspberries, redcurrants, gooseberries and blackcurrants along with peas and new potatoes. The dates can vary year on year, up to ten days either way. For instance, this year we are ten to fourteen days later.
Families and groups have been coming from around the country to Mill of Montague Farm to pick high quality strawberries and raspberries for decades now, enjoying the farm and the tranquility of the Perthshire countryside.
We are open every day between 9am and 5pm during the berry season but we do recommend that you call in advance to avoid any disappointment.”