I am way behind on my blogging. Like in “get Dr Strange in here with the Time Stone and send me back 6 months so I can try to start and catch up” behind. Life is getting in the way and life is made up of work, family, kids, sport, etc, etc, etc… That plus having a teenager in the house that occupies my laptop all evening, which have now conked out for the third time in a year. The laptop, not the teenager. Freekin hell, please remind me never to buy an Acer computer again. That is if I ever have money to buy a laptop again with what Miggie’s indoor cricket is costing me. Anyhow… We picked strawberries in Hankey, in January, which is a good 4 and a half months ago already, but I would really like to share it with you.
Madele’ Ferreira has been growing strawberries outside Hankey in the Gamtoos Valley for over 20 years and for the last few years they have managed to produce strawberries commercially all year round. With over 12 hectares covered in strawberries and supplying some of the biggest retail chains around, the Mooihoek strawberries have probably crossed your lips at one stage or another, but only from the shop to your table to your mouth. Although they have had many requests from people to come and pick their own strawberries they have never been ready for the public to do so. That was until Madele’s daughter was looking to earn some extra money during the summer holiday and it was decided to allow the public to pick for a limited time only. The response? Overwhelming and so much more than they ever imagined.
I headed out to Hankey with the family in tow and two teenagers who weren’t very excited about the outing, mainly because they had no idea what they will get to do. Yes, they knew we were going to pick strawberries, but I don’t think they even knew how the fruit was grown and what you actually have to do.
On arrival we bought our punnets at R30 each and received the simple instructions. You can pick as many as you can fit onto the punnet without leaning it against your body. Pick away! And pick they did. Them and many others who arrived on just this one morning. Apparently, the farm workers could not understand why people would want to come and pay to pick strawberries in the summer sun when you can just buy them in the shop. Nobody told them that these days it’s all about experiences and not just looking at things anymore, but rather doing.
I sure hope they will open the field for picking at some stage again and perhaps on a more permanent basis as it will do wonders for tourism in the Gamtoos Valley. For now, I can only stare at my pictures from the day and remember the taste of those sweet red strawberries, most not even making it home with us.