Strawberry collection fun at Mooihoek Boerdery in Hankey

  mooihoek boerdery
Shivani McAinsh and her daughter Kieran, 13, were among the vacationers picking strawberries at Mooihoek Boerdery, Hankey last week
Image: Gillian McAinsh

Bring your friends and family and come pick your own strawberries, "Eastern Cape peasant Izanne Ferreira asked on Facebook earlier this month, and since then vacationers have been doing that at Mooihoek Boerdery of her family in Hankey.

Strawberry picking It is a fun outlet for fans of sweet red fruit and offers visitors the ability to select exactly what they want from the cornucopia that is offered.

After all, how often do you buy a basket of strawberries or other fruits in the supermarket just to get home and one or more are deformed and grow? whiskers, crushed or immature?

Of course, if you take into account the cost of gasoline to go Port Elizabeth to Hankey, then it is clear that he will not buy his strawberries cheaper than from the stores.

However, you will have the satisfaction of choosing only the juiciest and ripe berries, fresh from the jungle.

It will also give the inhabitants of the city, in particular, a new appreciation that food does not grow in packages, but from the ground. Also, it is very unlikely that you can resist the temptation to try some on the way.

Before starting, you must find the farm: go to Hankey on the main road from Port Elizabeth and turn left at the sign for Backhouse Hoek / Milton / Rooi Vlakte / Vensterhoek. From there, there is only one kilometer before you see the Mooihoek Boerdery signs. Mooihoek is next to the Gamtoos River on the outskirts of the city and has come a long way since the farmer's wife, Madelé Ferreira, planted 5,000 strawberry plants in what was then her rose garden. Now there are half a million plants on the farm and it supplies strawberries and other fresh produce to national supermarkets. Ferreira and Mooihoek have also created dozens of works, much needed in the Gamtoos Valley.

You will drive on a dirt road, take the left fork and then only 200 meters further on you take another dirt road on the right – it is not signposted – that leads to the fields open to the public.

Park next to a table with a red and white checkered tablecloth, where (hopefully) someone will take your money in exchange for a polystyrene tray for your fruit. It's a simple system: you buy an empty basket for R30, you walk through your chosen rows and select berries to fill it.

December is high season for berries and Mooihoek only opens until January 5 for the public to go and pick up, subject to availability.

Your schedule is Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. at 4.30 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. at 2 p.m. There are no sales on Christmas day, and it is a good idea to check the weather; He really does not want to wade through mud or wind while picking it up.

More information about Izanne Ferreira, 082-927-1831.

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