Everyone knows that strawberries taste best when they’re freshly picked and that’s why on your next tour in South Africa (Stellenbosch specifically), you should visit Polkadraai Farm. Stellenbosch garnered attention around the world for its lush soil that produces the best grapes for winemaking, making it a paradise for wine enthusiasts. But did you know strawberries also thrive into enormous, plump forms directly from the same soil? Peak season starts in September before wrapping up in January and visitors can visit the farm daily.
A tractor ride with a driver giving educational lectures will bring families to a spacious field where rows of red strawberries are ready to be harvested. Pickers will have a choice of selecting containers of various sizes from Junior Picker (R40) to The Ultimate Picker (R190). A guide will instruct families on detecting the perfect ripe fruit depending on its color, texture and size, while reminding them to leave alone the leaves and stems for its regrowth. The farm grows only a certain strain of strawberries including Honor, Splendor, Candonga, Viva Patricia, Albion, Festival, Commitment and many more. For guests who don’t want to pick the berries themselves, the farm has its own souvenir shop where they can purchase containers of ready-to-eat strawberries along with nuts, wine, dried fruits, biltong, jams and more.
Parents of small children will want to take them on a pony ride offered at the farm. The two ponies (Ghandalf and Pinkie) are permanent residents and will take your kids around the farm for five minutes of scenic views. Adults, there’s something fun in store for you as well — Polkadraai Farm has its own 18-hole miniature golf course designed by Brent Shapiro, a PPGA Tour Professional. From there, parents can show off their competitive streak with their kids. Face Painting is another popular activity at Polkadraai Farm, where kids can be anything they want to be for the day. The farm’s own professional face painters are known for their creative designs, allowing kids to be their favorite superheroes, cartoon characters or animals.
Come hungry, but not just because you’re at a strawberry-picking farm. Polkadraai has a food court serving hot items like burgers and chicken nuggets for lunches. It’s advised to try the Polkadraai Waffles, the signature dish at the farm. And of course, you’ll have to save room for all the hand-picked strawberries you’re about to eat.
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