PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL THE DATES HAVE CHANGED DUE TO THE HOT WEATHER.
Please find confirmation below of your picking dates for each variety. As stated before, you must come to pick your respective tree during the given dates so please do ensure that you know which variety of tree you have.
Please also ensure that you did read the last email I sent about the new fruit fly cherry pest that may affect the crop if our guidelines are not followed.
As picking for your variety of tree approaches, you need to keep an eye on the weather forecast as what cherries don’t like when ripening to full maturity is significant rain fall.
The problem with lots of rain on cherries is that it makes them split through the process of osmosis. This is where as the rain is constantly running over and down the cherry it is absorbed by the fruit until it can’t expand any further and the skin bursts causing the cherry to split – the cherry still tastes great, it just has a significantly reduced shelf life and can start to go mouldy on the tree. If the weather does happen to throw a spanner in the works, I will of course email you again about any affected variety and advice about if you should come and pick your cherries sooner rather than later. If a lot of rain is forecast during your picking window, try to come before the forecast rain as then your cherries won’t be split by the rain.
The picking hours during the dates provided will be between 10am and 5pm (please arrive by 3.30pm as the staff would like to leave at 5pm as they are already working 7 days a week). We are open every day apart from Tuesday’s for picking but appreciate that the majority of you will come to pick on a weekend, so I’ve recommended which weekend is best for your variety if you can only come to pick once! Please note that well behaved dogs are welcome, however they must be kept on a lead.
When you come to pick, please can you ensure that you bring enough cardboard boxes to pick into as we are unable to provide these. The ones that hold the tomatoes in the supermarkets are ideal, or your local farm shop will happily give these to you for free, too. If you can bring a few of these boxes then you will have sufficient.
Kordia: Saturday 1st – Monday 10th July (excluding Tuesday 4th July when we are closed)
The Kordia still taste fine even if slightly under ripe so if you are intending to pick on a weekend and can only come once to pick I would recommend coming to pick on the first weekend (1st & 2nd July). If you can come and pick twice however, a week apart, that would still be preferable.
Penny & Colney: Friday 7th – Monday 17th July (excluding Tuesday 11th July when we are closed)
Coming to pick these varieties just once will be absolutely fine as the ripening is very even – If you can’t come to pick on a weekday I would recommend coming on the first of the 2 weekends (8th & 9th July) as these varieties will most likely be over-ripe by the end of the their picking window if no cherries have been picked prior to that.
Sweetheart: Friday 14th July – Monday 24th July (excluding Tuesday 18th July when we are closed)
The Sweetheart dates do remain the same – they have an absolutely fantastic crop on them and if you can come to pick twice please do as the ripening of the cherries is quite varied due to the sheer volume of cherries on the trees! If however you are only coming to pick once, I would definitely recommend coming to pick this variety early in the picking window.
Regina: Wednesday 19th July – Friday 28th July (excluding Tuesday 25th July when we are closed)
I appreciate that you now only have one weekend available to come and pick on (if you can’t come during the week), however if you are only coming to pick once there is no way the Regina would still be in good condition if we kept the window open for the 2nd weekend – the fruit will definitely be at its’ best to pick in the middle of this picking window.
The parking will be in a field that is immediately accessible as you turn off the A28 into New Road. This field will be signposted and there will be someone at the entrance to show you where to park. If this field becomes full, you will be able to park on the grass verge on the left of the lane up New Road. For disabled access, please drive up New Road and turn right where signposted ‘Cooks Yard Farm’ to drive up into the farmyard which is next to the orchard.
The full address of the orchard is Cooks Yard Farm, New Road, Northiam, East Sussex, TN31 6HS.
If you are planning to turn your visit into a short break away, then please have a look at our ‘places to stay’ page on the website for a list of the best local establishments.
We are located just outside the village of Northiam (in the direction of Hastings). Travelling on the A28 from the direction of Hastings towards Northiam you will travel through the village of Broad Oak and you then need to take the second turning on your left up a lane called New Road which is after about 2 miles. The parking is immediately on your right.
Coming in the other direction on the A28 from the Hawkhurst or Tenterden direction you need to go through the village of Northiam and after leaving the village there is a Vets on your right called ‘Badger’s Oak’ and New Road is the third turning on the right after about a third of a mile. There is a detailed map on the contact page of the website.
I look forward to seeing you all soon and obviously if you can’t wait until your cherries are ready, come and find us at our Sandhurst orchard where we’ll be selling cherries every day, or at one of the many farmers markets we attend – full details of where to find us are on our website.