Norfolk Blueberry Picking in Covid Times

July 26, 2020

Yesterday we went blueberry picking at Fairgreen Farms, near King’s Lynn, Norfolk. We visited Fairgreen Farms for some pick your own blueberry fun last year, so we were familiar with the set up. Being outside, we thought it would be a reasonably safe post-lockdown activity to do as a family.

I’ve been really anxious throughout this pandemic and haven’t been inside a shop since early March, so don’t feel ready to visit any family attractions like zoos. We still want the girls to have fun, though, so we’ve been enjoying country walks and visiting the quieter beaches in the area for days out.

Both girls loved blueberry picking last year, so they were very excited to go again. We knew it would be pretty easy to avoid other people in the blueberry fields, but we weren’t sure about how the weighing and paying could be done safely.

When we arrived at the fields, we were given an information sheet of guidance on keeping distance from others, not eating the blueberries while picking and santising our hands before starting. We opted to bring our own containers, but the staff were cleaning the buckets in between uses for those that wished to use them. There was a screen at the till, although the instruction was to place your container onto the table so that the staff could weigh it; I’d have felt more comfortable if we could have placed our containers directly onto the scales ourselves, as there wasn’t really any need for anyone else to touch them.

The girls had a brilliant time picking the blueberries and there was no one else at all picking in our row or the next, so it felt perfectly safe. There were rows marked especially for the more vulnerable to use, which was great.

One of the reasons I’m concerned about visiting busier attractions is my worry that there will always be someone who doesn’t feel the need to stick to social distancing rules. Unfortunately there’s always one, and the blueberry field was no exception. One man wandered up, walking uncomfortably close to us and when presented with the information sheet, declared, “I suppose we’re not allowed to breathe on them then?” The owner handled him really well and told him that under no circumstances could he take his cigarette onto the field as it presented a fire risk. Good for her! It was reassuring to me that she took this hard stance and tried her utmost to make it safe for everyone in these strange times.

Now, we’ve got more blueberries than you can shake a stick at, so I’ll have to think of some good recipes to use them up in. I might try these yummy gluten free blueberry muffins that we made last year. If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments!

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