If you have never visited The Strawberry Farm out in tranquil Harties, then this spring is the time to go. The 9.4ha farm has been in operation since 1999, offering its owners an escape from the city. However, the farm dates back to 1881, originally functioning as a sheep farm! Due to its extremely fertile soil (thanks sheepies) the farm became the perfect plot for a strawberry field. What started out as just 500 strawberry plants, is now a sprawling expanse of plants. Ripe for the picking from around mid-September, these fields burst with juicy, sweet strawberries for roughly 12 weeks of summer.
The 2019 strawberry picking season officially begins on Saturday, 21 September. The farm will also be open to pickers on National Heritage Day, so you can bring the whole family along! Come and stroll along the fields, tasting their delicious bounty as you go. If the harvest is plentiful, the farm will supply you with a bucket to pick and take home your strawberries. Your bucket will be weighed at the exit and you will be charged accordingly.
The Strawberry Farm grows only organic strawberries, with no pesticides or herbicides. So, you have no need to worry about what you or the kids will be ingesting. You can expect a little dirt or mud after the rain, so be sure to wear shoes you won't mind ruining. There are water taps along the fields, so you can rinse your pickings off. But, then again, a little dirt never hurt anyone!
Once you are done foraging, step into the peaceful farm gardens for a picnic. You can either pack your own, or order a specialty picnic basket from the farm's Forage & Feast restaurant. There are a couple of picnic options, but we really like the sound of the Magalies Picnic Basket: oyster paté, smoked snoek paté, hummus & a farm-made baguette, a selection of pickled items and olives, Italian and German cured meat selections, crudités, the farm's signature cheesecake with strawberry coulis, a cheeseboard of local and imported cheeses, biscuits, fruit and fruit conserve, chocolate truffles and a bottle of chilled sparkling wine!
Kick back and relax along the banks of the dam, while the kids are entertained by the farm's geese and ducks, but be warned, they will try to steal your cheese! This is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the fresh spring breezes. Alternatively, you can pop into the restaurant for tea and cake. Be sure to give a friendly pet to their three large boerboels. While quite inquisitive over new guests, these pets are far less intrusive than the ducks.
Not up for mucking through the fields? Visit the Strawberry Farm's on-site spa and wellness centre. Whether you need a full day massage, or just a mani-pedi, the Strawberry Farm Spa is the place to go. You can also book a weekend stay over for you and the girls. Featuring a spa breakfast and lunch, foot treatments, Indian head massage, hydrating honey butter hand massage, hot stone massage, facials and a decadent Strawberry Daiquiri to end the day. You will also be treated to a full English Breakfast after your stay at the farm guesthouse.
So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself down the Strawberry Farm this season! It's only a 50 minute drive from Joburg, so you really have no excuse not to visit.
Visit their website for more information - thestrawberryfarm.co.za.
Or, you can follow them on Facebook for the latest news and events - facebook.com/thestrawberryfarmza.
Details: 012 207 1116 | [email protected] | R560 The Strawberry Farm, S46 on R560 Skeerpoort Near Hartbeespoort Dam.
The owner, Paul, studied classic French cuisine in the south of France. Fancy. He’s big on sourcing top-quality ingredients and crafting artisan breads. I am such a push-over when it comes to homemade bread, so I decided to try a filled baguette - I’m sensible like that. It’s been rated the best baguette in Johannesburg, so I was curious to see if it lived up to all the hype.
While I waited, I sipped on strawberry juice and pinched some lavender from a little wooden crate. Cheesy French music put a smile on my face, as did snippets of the conversation taking place two tables away from me. Blairgowrie moms can gossip like nobody’s business. My baguette arrived in good time, laden with smoked Norwegian salmon, cream cheese, capers, cucumber, and dill. The baguette itself was delicious and incredibly chewy (I’m assuming the French like it this way – no complaints from my side either). The ingredients, the salmon especially, were fresh.
The menu also boasts a French-bistro-style croque monsieur (basically a posh cheese toastie), as well as a burger topped with camembert and preserved fig. Once you’ve filled up on proper food, you’ll have the strength to go inside and eyeball the cake selection.
Was I charmed? Quite. Was I happy with my meal? Certainly. Am I going to return to Patisserie de Paris at some point with a little wheelbarrow to relieve Paul of his pastries and cheeses? Oui.
Have you been here before? Rate and review your experience below!