Balloon Tree floats new flower picking concept

York Press: Balloon Tree floats new flower picking concept Balloon Tree floats new flower picking concept

BUSINESS expansion is on the cards for a second generation farm shop and cafe as it celebrates its tenth year of trading.

The Balloon Tree at Gate Helmsley has doubled its dining area, created ten new jobs and added a cutting garden to its 30-year-old Pick Your Own operation.

Capacity at The Balloon Tree's café has increased from 26 to 60 seats to accommodate its growing visitor numbers.

Outdoors, the landscaped café garden has been extended and along with the addition of a Pick Your Own flower garden, thought to be the only one within a farm shop in Yorkshire.

Owner of the Balloon Tree Matthew Machin said: "We trialled this concept with York flower farmer Rachel Wilkes last year and it was so successful that we are extending it this year.

"Visitors will be able to complete their Pick Your Own experience by wandering through our flower garden and selecting flowers to take home.

"The beauty of these flowers, in addition to satisfying our ‘Fewer flower miles - more (flower) farm yards', is that they're not available in the supermarkets and haven't travelled thousands of miles for our enjoyment."

In addition to the café, Pick your Own fruit and flowers, the Balloon Tree operates a farm shop featuring an award winning on site bakery, rare breed meat, local food and drink, a plant area and a children's play area and animal corner.

The Machin family has been growing soft fruit on their parcel of land near Stamford Bridge for more than 30 years.

The Balloon Tree Farm Shop was opened in 2004 by Matthew's parents, Digby and Jill Machin after twenty years of growing and selling their home grown soft fruit from a wooden hut by the roadside.

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