Picking your own fruit may be thought of as a thing of the past by some but for two former mushroom farmers it is a booming business.

Michael and Pam Craner run Craner Produce in Common Road, Broadley Common, which is a fruit farm offering visitors the chance to pick 13 different fruits or vegetables.

The couple have been at the farm since 1983 and started growing strawberries in a half-acre plot as a way of raising funds for the upkeep of the rest of the farm, then used to grow hay, while they had other full-time jobs.

Mrs Craner said: “The first year we planted the strawberries they were all gone so quickly we decided to keep doing it.

“I think we have been successful because we try to keep the quality of the fruit very high and make our customers feel very welcome.

“It’s a very personal business and we have a lot of customers who keep coming back to us.”

For the full story, see this week’s Epping Forest Guardian – out Thursday.