Frequently Asked Questions
What are the dining options?
We offer a range of food at the farm including breakfasts, lunches, BBQ, cream teas and some pretty amazing homemade cakes. We also light our wood fired pizza oven at weekends.
Children’s options are available and we offer gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options. If you require further information please speak to our staff on arrival who will be happy to advise you.
You are encouraged to bring your own cup for hot drinks or purchase a reusable travel cup from our farm shop. We offer a 25p discount on all hot drinks if you provide your own cup.
For information about all our dining options and to view our current menus please take a look at our Food & Drink page.
How does the PYO work?
You will need to purchase a fruit voucher for each person visiting the PYO which will be deducted from the cost of any fruit you pick when you pay at the till. The vouchers cost £3.00 each plus a 25p booking charge. The link to book can be found at the bottom of this section but please read the following information carefully before proceeding:
Prior to visiting, to see what is available for PYO, visit our What’s Picking? page. It is sometimes necessary for us to temporarily close a crop that is still in season to allow it to replenish.
9am to 10am on Tuesday mornings is reserved for the Over 60s who do not require a booking.
You will be provided baskets to pick your fruit. The baskets come in different sizes (dependent on the volume you require) and you will need one basket for each type of fruit that you wish to pick. A member of staff will be happy to advise on selection if required. There is no direct charge for the baskets we supply although their weight will not be deducted when the fruit is weighed.
You can now head out to the fruit fields, look for the ‘Start Picking Here’ signs and pick away!
Please be careful that you only pick fruit in the designated areas and ensure that it is fully ripe to avoid any wastage.
When you have finished picking, return to our weighing and paying station. You will only pay for the amount of fruit you have picked and your voucher/s will be deducted from the final payment. Please do not consume any fruit prior to paying.
If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to ask one of our staff who will be more than happy to help.
Please click HERE to purchase your vouchers.
I can't see the date I want for PYO?
We only release slots for PYO a few days in advance (sometimes only a day in advance) when we have assessed our fruit availability. If you can’t see the date you require please check back nearer the time. If we are able to, we also sometimes release additional slots on previously ‘Sold Out’ days.
At the beginning of the fruit season (late May/early June) we will have very few slots available until the fruit becomes more abundant.
Can I bring a picnic?
We do not allow picnics anywhere on site here at Cammas Hall, including the car park, fruit fields and nature trail. Only food purchased in the Tea Barn, Orchard Room, The Cabin or Farm Shop may be consumed on site. We are a small family business and our catering is an integral part of that business which complements and supports our fruit production. In addition to this, the amount of litter generated by picnics in the past was adding an unsustainable financial burden on us. Many thanks for your support and understanding in this matter.
Can we eat fruit whilst we pick?
How do I find out what produce is available?
Take a look at our What’s Picking? page and click on the name of the fruit or vegetable you are interested in to find out pricing and availability.
When is the best time to visit?
We have now introduced pre-paid vouchers for the PYO which means we can look at how much fruit we have available and only release vouchers to cover this.
Do I have to pay for all that I pick?
Yes. We are happy for you to pick as much as you would like (subject to availability) but please remember, you will have to pay for whatever you or your children pick. Please ensure that children are closely supervised at all times.
Are you easy to find?
What can I expect to find in the farm shop?
We have a well-stocked farm shop packed full of the best local produce we can source. As well as our own fruit, jams and honey we offer a wide selection of locally sourced produce including fresh vegetables, artisan bread, meats, cheeses, chocolate and gift items. We pride ourselves on sourcing a lot of our stock from small local producers within a 30 mile radius of the farm.
We are also proud of our association with Riverbank Nursery who supply us with a wide variety of potted plants and herbs, hanging baskets and cut flowers.
Seasoned firewood is also available sourced from the woods here on the farm.
Do you have parking?
We have plenty of free parking at Cammas Hall Farm. Disabled parking is located immediately in front of the barn.
Please ensure that you do not leave valuables in your car. Cammas Hall Fruit Farm cannot accept any liability to any customers or other visitors or their children for theft or damage (however caused) to vehicles or their possessions whilst in the car park.
We have male and female toilet blocks as well as a disabled toilet in the outside play area. There is also an additional disabled toilet located in the cyclists area at the front of the farm shop.
Can I bring my dog to the farm?
We do allow well-behaved dogs on a lead at Cammas Hall Farm but we would request the following:
If you are purchasing food please use the outside dining area. There are covered areas in case of extreme heat or rain.
Please keep your dog on a lead at all times on the fruit farm. In the fruit fields dogs can be tied up alongside the side of the field in full view of the owner but should not enter the fruit fields themselves. Dogs can be let off the lead on the Nature Trail but must remain under control at all times.
Maize Maze – dogs on a lead can enter the maze.
Pumpkin Fields/Pumpkin Patch – Dogs are not allowed.
Please clean up after your dog. There are a number of dog waste bins situated around the farm and we have a supply of bags so just ask if you have forgotten your own.
Bowls of water are provided for dogs near the entrance to the fruit fields and in the play area and we also sell locally produced dog treats and other pet products in the farm shop.
Is there wheelchair access around the farm?
Are you baby friendly?
Are cyclists welcome?
Given our beautiful countryside location we are an excellent destination for cyclists – many of whom stop off to refuel. We have two bike racks for parking at the front of the barn. There is also a toilet facility here for cyclists to use.
Please note that we no longer allow bikes through the farm shop and all bikes must be left in the bike parking area of the car park – please bring a padlock or borrow one from us. Tables for the exclusive use of cyclists are situated next to the bike racks. Please place and collect your order inside the barn.
We are able to offer basic puncture repair tools and have a small selection of inner tubes for sale – please ask a member of staff.
We are a member of The Cake Escape initiative which is encouraging residents to ‘grab their bikes and cycle through some of the most beautiful places in Essex’.
What should I wear for the farm conditions?
Cammas Hall Fruit Farm is a working farm and care should be taken on uneven surfaces. Please wear suitable footwear (i.e. flat-soled shoes like trainers) for picking fruit . Even in dry weather the ground may be muddy due to our irrigation systems. It is also advisable to wear long sleeved and long legged clothing to help protect from scratches and stings.
Cammas Hall Fruit Farm cannot accept any liability to any customer or other visitors or their children for any injury sustained while on the farm so please be vigilant. Children should be supervised at all times.
When is the Maize Maze open?
Our maze is open from late July/early August until the end of October and additional charges apply. Please look out for updates.
Please note that we do sometimes need to close the maze if we have experienced heavy rainfall as the ground becomes slippery and unsafe. The ground can be uneven and therefore unsuitable for some makes of pushchair/buggy.
Please do not pick the corn in the Maize Maze. It is not edible!
School Trips, Coach Parties and Large Groups
We can only accept large groups if pre-booked. If you are a group of more than 12 people please call the farm office on 01279 718570 or send an email to email@example.com in advance to make a booking.
If you are a group smaller than 12 attending from a college, school, nursery or club please also let us know in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We offer a schools package which includes a talk about fruit farming, a tour of the farm and a punnet of PYO fruit per child. Please contact us for pricing and further information.
We are pleased to offer children’s parties at Cammas Hall Farm for up to 30 children. Please take a look here for more information about our children’s parties. Bookings can be taken between May and September.
Any lost property that we find will be kept until the end of the season. Please call 01279 718570 or preferably send a full description of the item to email@example.com with your contact details and we will get back to you.
Do I need to wash the fruit?
How do I freeze my fruit?
Raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, blackberries and blueberries are all suitable for freezing and can often be a welcome summer treat in the depths of winter. If you are intending to freeze your fruit, then it is best to pick the fruit the same day that you intend to freeze it. Remove any overripe or blemished fruits as well as any stalks. Spread your fruits out a tray so they are not touching each other and then lay the tray in the freezer. Leave for a few hours and when all the fruits are frozen and hard, transfer them into freezer bags or tubs, squeezing out as much air as possible from the bag and return them to the freezer for long term storage. Fruit should last for about a year – they will last longer but the quality will begin to deteriorate.
You can freeze strawberries but they will lose all their texture when thawed but can still be used to make sauces, jams, smoothies etc.
What are you doing to help protect the environment?
Our Environmental Policy:
Cammas Hall Farm are committed to putting the philosophy of reduce, reuse and recycle at the heart of all we do.
– Provide food packaging (e.g. sandwich containers) made from sustainable biomass sources which is biodegradable e.g. PLA
– Reduce the use of disposable takeaway cups by offering a discount to customers who bring their own cup and selling reusable coffee cups in our farm shop.
– Reduce the use of carrier bags by providing paper bags for fresh produce in our farm shop and encourage customers to bring their own bags.
– Encourage customers to bring their own containers for PYO and supply recyclable cardboard punnets for our customers use.
– Provide recycling bins around the farm site and reduce the amount of waste that we produce.
– Sell predominantly locally sourced produce in our farm shop to reduce the environmental impact of the transport network.
– Source services and products from suppliers who share our environmental ambitions.
– Manage and maintain the different spaces around the farm to encourage biodiversity.
– Manage the woodland on the farm by coppicing to produce a sustainable firewood supply that is used to fire our Pizza Oven .
– Collect rainwater from the roofs of our farm buildings to be stored in our reservoirs for use in crop irrigation.
How does the Pumpkin Patch work?
Pumpkins can be seen growing in our fields throughout the summer months until they are harvested and moved to our Pumpkin Patch for sale in October. We ask that nobody picks the pumpkins whilst they are still growing in the fields, prior to our Halloween Event. You can then come along to our Pumpkin Patch and select your pumpkins and pay for them at the PYO counter where they are weighed and priced according to weight.
How do I store my pumpkin if I don’t wish to use it straight away?
Once you have your pumpkin home, they should last up to several weeks if stored correctly. Keep your pumpkin in a cool, dry place ideally on an old towel or a piece of cardboard.