Strawberry Picking

This sum­mer we hoped to vis­it straw­ber­ry farms around the city to expe­ri­ence PYO ( pick-your-own). Although we don’t par­tic­u­lar­ly like eat­ing straw­ber­ries, we fig­ured it would be a good out­ing doing some­thing fun with our lit­tle one. So I searched for any farms that are offer­ing PYO around the city. Google sug­gest­ed a cou­ple of farms, one of which is very close to the city which is why I delib­er­ate­ly avoid­ed it. So we choose anoth­er farm locat­ed a bit far­ther west named Phil Greig Straw­ber­ry Gar­dens.

This gar­den is right on the state high­way 16 en route to Kumeu. It is very easy to iden­ti­fy the place with big entic­ing hoard­ings adver­tis­ing PYO, ice cream, smooth­ies and cof­fee. There is a plen­ty of park­ing avail­able. Entry costs $7.5 upfront per adult which includes the first KG of pick­ing. Chil­dren under 12 go for free. We are allowed to eat the fruit while pick­ing. Any pick­ing that weighs more than a kilo should be paid for at the rate of $7.5 per kilo.

After pay­ing the entry fee, they give a buck­et wrapped from inside with a poly­thene cov­er to col­lect the picked berries. The farm is quite big with so many rows of plant beds so it has plen­ty of space for every­one. There are good num­ber of fel­low pick­ers most­ly mums and dads with their chil­dren, spread across the farm. Thanks to today’s tem­per­ate weath­er.

While enter­ing I was a bit skep­ti­cal about find­ing the berries as I learned that they allow PYO only after the major crop has been har­vest­ed. How­ev­er I became excit­ed after find­ing the first cou­ple of berries. The path­way between the plant beds is very nar­row so had to walk a bit care­ful­ly. The berries are most­ly con­cealed under the leaves. There are berries of all sizes includ­ing some unripened green ones and flow­ers. The small red berries are real­ly sweet. In fact, I don’t par­tic­u­lar­ly get excit­ed about eat­ing straw­ber­ries but those tiny ones made me rethink. After about an hour and cov­er­ing many rows of plant beds, we col­lect­ed almost 2 kilos of fruit so we did­n’t need to pay any­thing extra.

While leav­ing we stopped by the enclosed ice cream shop . All the ice cream is straw­ber­ry flavoured. Though I could not eat due to my par­tic­i­pa­tion in The Quan­ti­fied Diet Project, my wife and son had it. Appar­ent­ly the ice cream is good but not good enough to break my streak. So I saved my ice cream for lat­er.

So that’s our first time pick­ing expe­ri­ence. It is so much fun to pluck the fresh and live fruit off the plants. Most impor­tant­ly our lit­tle one enjoyed a lot point­ing the berries and ask­ing us to pick. The aro­ma of farm fresh straw­ber­ries is awe­some. We def­i­nite­ly look for­ward to do this next sum­mer.

Samanyu with berry. sam1farm