Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on September 13th, 2013

Blackberry Picking

As the new school term settles into a familiar pace so the children are reminded of the late summer blackberries around the farm. Last year the highlight for them was making blackberry cakes and selling them around Coombe Mill one afternoon. As soon as they saw the bushes laden with berries this is just what they wanted to do again. Funny how some things stick in their mind from one year to the next.

Blackberry Bushes at Coombe Mill Farm


I adore blackberry picking and was only too willing to accompany them. We set off round the back of the lodges and play area where we filled our container in no time at all. I love some of the less well known parts of Coombe Mill, they always feel like undiscovered areas to me. They are filled with butterflies on the lilac and all sorts of flying creatures competing with us for the blackberries.


Blackberry Picking at Coombe Mill Farm


Back at the house we soaked the fruit and watched various unsavoury creatures crawl out in the water while we assembled our cake making ingredients. I opted for my trusty all in one yogurt recipe which the children could manage themselves all on the garden bench. 

Blackberry Cakes

IngredientsBlackberry Cake Ingredients in Coombe Mill Garden

3 cups of SR Flour

2 cups Sugar

1 cup sunflower oil

1 cup natural yogurt

Teaspoon vanilla essence

1 egg

I large container of freshly picked and washed blackberries


Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine adding in the blackberries at the end taking care not to break them too much.

Spoon the mixture into cases and bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.


Coombe Mill farm blackberry cakes


The girls took over the cake making while the boys disappeared off for a blast on their quad bike, returning as if my magic as the cakes came out of the oven!


Coombe Mill Farm blackberry cakes and quad bike

As time was marching on we agreed that the afternoon train ride was the perfect opportunity to sell the cakes. Having carefully designed their advertising pages the girls nipped round the properties giving advance warning of their cake sale before joining the boys who were just putting on their driving uniforms. The cakes were still warm from the oven as they took them out and all 50 vanished in minutes while waiting for train rides. £10 up on the day the children split their money and were only disappointed that there were no cakes left for them. Needless to say we made some more in the week which they kept for themselves!

Coombe Mill Railway selling blackberry cakes

Foraging to cook is right on trend at the moment. There is a lovely video from a google plus hangout by the amazing crafty Maggie of RedTedArt with loads of ideas from some great bloggers of what can and found and how to cook with them. It is something that is perfect to do with kids.

Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about fun outdoors. It could be a family day out, a crafting activity, play time or learning, it doesn’t have to be in the countryside but it does have to be outside. No screens and sofas allowed. I am a real believer in a little freedom and fresh air for children especially now the school term has begun again. There are so many fun ideas linked up each week so please take a look at some of the posts here and be inspired for your next outdoor adventure. As we move from summer into autumn I hope you will don an extra layer and keep heading out for that outdoor fix! Remember to take the camera and come back here to tell all.

Some truly amazing posts last week, just a few from so many great entries:

3 Kids and a Glue Stick left the glue behind and enjoyed a fun filled week in Cornwall

Mummy Mishaps Packed so much into a last week of summer and show cased it all beautifully

Crazy with Twins has the prize for the most photos in her epic Gromit spotting adventure

Lakes Singles Mum has an enviable local festival over 2 days.

My Mummy’s Pennies for a great learning adventure in nature from a classic kids book. 


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