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The Strawberry Farm

Welcome to the Original Pick-your-Own Strawberry Farm near Hartbeespoort Dam

Welcome to our Farm

Tangaroa, The Strawberry Farm, is situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountains near Hartbeespoort Dam.

We are a fully working farm offering organic Strawberry Picking in Spring and Fruit and Vegetable Picking on selected weekends of the year.

We have a relaxing Day Spa and Guest House.

Forage & Feast serves up family meals 6 days a week and holds sumptuous long table events.

Fraise Gourmet Dining is where you can enjoy a multi course, wine paired gourmet dinner once a season, or get them to come in an cater for you in your own home or establishment.

Strawberry Picking is available to the public ONLY on Saturdays and Sundays during the season, late September to early December. 

The Day Spa & Guest House is open 7 days a week. Contact our office for bookings.

Safe to come out yet?

November 25, 2017

This mornings' dash of thunder and lightning has passed, the sun has even made a brief appearance. 

We all know Mother Nature is not predictable, and we have more dark clouds on the way - anything can happen.

So, if there is any thunder and lightning, we will close the fields, if it is merely rain, the fields will be open for an awesome, muddy experience. The restaurant will be open, but please note, we have a few larger groups booked around lunchtime today, so seating at that point will be limited- especially if it is raining. The Day Spa, and the rest of the farm, are not affected by the thunder and lightning, only the picking (the Spa is by prior booking only).

That being said... if we don't #seeyouinthefields, we will #seeyouinthefarm

Rain???

November 25, 2017

Good morning from a very overcast Strawberry Farm.

Last night we experienced some fantastic, well needed rain, and it looks like it may very well continue this morning. There are rumblings from upstairs, indicating this may be more than just rain, but a full blown thunderstorm. As you may know, if there is lightning, we will close the fields for your safety. We will be keeping a watchful eye out this morning due to the rumblings, and will play it by ear as to whether we will be opening at our regular time, or playing it safe and opening later.

As I type this, the rain has started to fall and there is lightning. We will keep you posted as to when we feel it will be safe to come out and pick.

#seeyouinthefields

It's a dash cooler this morning...

November 18, 2017

If you hadn't noticed, there is a cold front that has rolled through the country. Who would have thought that this close to Christmas South Africa would get to experience snow - is a white Christmas maybe on the cards? The changes in the global climate have become a lot more noticeable. A few seasons ago, we experienced a lot of weekends that were rained out, yet, the last three or four seasons have seen less and less rain- especially over weekends.

This has lead to us irrigating more - our usually relatively full dam is looking rather sad and almost empty as we speak. Monday and Tuesday see us getting our dam filled again, as it is our water turn in the area. 

As you know, we run an organic farm. We are continually looking at new ways of cutting down on our waste and reducing our carbon footprint. Always looking at how to recycle in a different way, in a way that is more positive for our fields and the rest of the environment. If you head into our fields this morning, you will find a few of the walkways look rather different, don't be alarmed, it is not a rubbish dump, we are looking at reusing our cardboard boxes by chopping them up, and putting them down in the walk ways for few reasons - firstly it's recycling, secondly it's to help keep the ground less muddy underfoot, thirdly we would like to keep as much of the moisture trapped in the soil, to reduce the evaporation that we experience, fourthly at the end of the season, the cardboard breaks down and will be ploughed into the ground, helping us to break up the clay soil a little.

Our farming is evolving slowly as we learn new things and experiment a lot, yes, with us there is a lot of trial and error. Over the last few years the face of our farm has changed, we have implemented a different watering system, expanded our fields, made use of different farming practices and as always, kept it organic. The kitchen uses a lot of eggs, bananas and citrus fruit. We wash the eggshells and soak them overnight, remove the shells from the water and dry them. The shells themselves get crushed by hand (rather chunky) and these get added to the fields, to help deter pests, break up the soil slightly, and add their nutrient content to the ground. The water that the shells soaked in gets filtered and has some Epsom Salts added, then sprayed into the fields, adding a good dose of nutrients for the plants. We go through the same process with the banana peels, except that the peels themselves are added to our compost heap, and we don't add the Epsom Salts to that water. As for the citrus, we boil up the peels and off cuts with water, allow it to steep for a couple of weeks. This has a good nutrient content and the oils keep a bunch of pests at bay.

If you like what we do, and feel that this may just be the kind of life you would like, talk to us. Everyone has their price.. 

Yes, we will be open for picking today, from 7:30 a.m.

Embrace the cooler weather, come out this morning and eat your fill of our delicious strawberries in the fields.

Don't forget the sunscreen!

#seeyouinthefields #Berrylekker

   

Been busy...

November 11, 2017

Well hello Saturday!

What a busy time we have had over the last couple of weeks. It's been so busy that we haven't had an opportunity to post here, apologies for that. Time has just seemed to slip away from us.

O.K. so, we have passed the halfway mark for our season this year, and from here on out it will be downhill to the end of picking. I'm not saying that there are less strawberries, but slowly there will be less available for picking as we head towards fully fledged summer.

At this point we start to slow the weeding program that we have in place. You will find a bit more grass in the fields, a bit more weeds too. The farmer starts to focus on propagation of strawberry plants - as this is when our strawberry plants are starting to make runners (baby plants), some have been doing this for a couple of weeks or so, others are just starting. This usually spells the slow decline of strawberry production, hence our picking shouldn't be lasting later than the weekend of 2 & 3 December. Please note that this is not a date set in stone for the final weekend of picking for the year, it may very well end later, but we doubt that it will end sooner- it's all up to Mother Nature.

We would like to welcome Dennis to our team here at The Strawberry Farm. He is joining us to learn the farming aspect of things, and will be working closely with the farmer for the rest of the season. 

Still on the topic of farming, the farm is starting to produce some really good produce. The baby marrows are flowering beautifully, with a few small courgettes on the go, our beans are producing wonderfully - a good batch of green beans as well as purple beans can be picked. We have rainbow Swiss chard, Parris Island Lettuce, Green Salad Bowl Lettuce and a dash of Iceberg (not formed a ball, but hey). The cucumbers are coming along pretty well too, with a couple of them on the vines. The beetroot and carrots are slow to grow at this stage, but we have some great radishes for picking too. As we go along, we will have more and more variety for picking. Oh, and we have the first of our blackberries starting to turn red (the step before going dark purple (black)). So, yes, the veggies are coming through slowly. 

Many of you would have met Wendy, the lady that has issued you with wrist bands for entrance this season, she joined us about two months ago. We are teaching her the ins and outs of our reception and of the spa. If you give us a call most week days, Wendy is the lady that you'll get to speak to. Please be a little patient with her, she is new to the area, and she comes from a rather different industry to ours. All good things take time, and we are working on it.

So, off to the fields we go...

As always, load the kids in the car, pack in grandma and grampa, bring along some sunscreen and hats, 'cause it gets hot in the fields. Enjoy the fresh country air, and eating your fill of strawberries in the fields ('cause that is what we are about).

#Seeyouinthefields #organic #slowfood #familydayout #funinthesun #TIA  

 

 

Time in the fields...

November 2, 2017

Having spent a lot of time in the fields this week, we are happy to let you know that the strawberry fields have an awesome abundance of insanely sweet, organic strawberries. 

After last weeks' water fiasco (which left the fields in a state that "Muddy Princess" could have taken place here), the tractor almost getting stuck, and huge volumes of water flowing through the whole farm, we are happy to let you know that the situation and fields have dried out considerably, making picking much more convenient for this weekend.

The plants are looking fantastic this morning, perked up a lot and are just looking kind of majestic in their own right. Fruit production is incredible, everywhere that you look, our gorgeous red berries are to be seen.

Some of our plants have already started sending out runners. This marks the start of the slowing of production, but don't worry, we will still have picking every weekend for this month. After the end of November, we will have to play it by ear and will keep you guys posted as we go.

We would suggest that yo get here early on Saturday, to either beat the rush, or the heat, but either way you'd get the pick of the fruit that is available.

If the weather man is to be trusted (we all know he gets it really wrong, extremely often), we are in for a weekend of good weather, with a little cloud expected on Saturday and a really sunny Sunday. 

On that note - Get here early on Saturday (we open at 7:30 am), pack in the family, bring the grandparents too - we have fresh baked scones - Please leave your pets at home, we have our own... Kids, drag your folks out for a really good day out in the country, awesome fresh air and sunshine, bring along hats, slap on the sunscreen (if you forget it at home, don't stress, we have some in our little shop) and come hungry.

#seeyouinthefields #berrylekker 

It's going to be busy...

October 29, 2017

Arriving at work this morning, we are greeted by fine cool weather, the sky was dotted with light clouds (which has now clouded over completely) and the promise of a great day of picking. 

Yesterday was a cloudy, drizzly day, which was fantastic for picking as well as month end shopping. The Curry Cup is over for the year, with Western Province beating Natal in the final. All three of these - the weather, payday weekend shopping as well as the rugby - all influenced our picking yesterday. It was a busy morning, which died out as lunch-time loomed. We aren't saying it's a bad thing, we now have loads of strawberries for picking today, a lot more than expected.

We figure, with the rugby over - some guys will be nursing hangovers, be it from celebrating or drowning their sorrows- and shopping done, we will have quite a lot of pickers and it's going to be busy today. So, get here early!!!

We open at 7:30 a.m. for picking and breakfast. 

#seeyouinthefields #berrylekker

It's wet in the fields...

October 28, 2017

Yes, we are open for picking... Yes, it's drizzling and wet underfoot... Perfect weather for gorging yourself on our delicious strawberries.

This week saw a wet, muddy beginning. Our farm gets its' irrigation water via a furrow and sluice system that comes from the Skeerpoort river. We share this system with all of the farmers in the area. On Sunday evening last weekend, someone opened a bunch of the sluice gates along the system, which sent all of the water down our furrow, overflowing it into the neighbouring farms' lands, over filling our dam, and flooding some of our fields as well as the path down to the fields. 

School groups came through this week and some of the kids freaked out 'cause of the mud, others reveled in it. It's still quite a soggy mess down there, even with us covering a lot of it with grass cuttings and other materials that would go on our compost heap. So, if you're coming through, expect mud - slushy, sticky, hold-onto-your-shoes kinda mud.

This all adds to the fun of farm life. So, come out to the farm today for an undeniably farm (not city) experience. Eat your fill of strawberries - of which there are loads down in the fields. Bring with you old shoes or "wellies" or even head into the fields barefoot. You may even want to bring an old towel, to dry off your feet after you've washed them, once you're done picking.

#seeyouinthefields #ibroughtwellies #funinthemud #dayoutinthecountry    

That's a wrap...

October 22, 2017

Yup, it's a wrap for picking for this weekend folks. Lots of people, and loads of strawberries have been picked.

Come through next weekend if you're wanting to pick. We understand that some people wish to still head to the fields to have a look, we allow it, but still charge our entrance fee for that.

Hope to see you in the fields soon.

Rain, mud and a really good time...

October 22, 2017

What amazing rain we had last night, all 10 mm of it!!! The thunder was rolling through the valley with quite some ferocity, the wind picked up (and damaged a couple of trees) making its own music, what a fantastic sound.

Thanks to the rain, the fields are pretty muddy this morning even with some of the additional grass we have put in. The ground is properly wet, this makes for a muddy good time. As one of our pickers described it as "the most therapeutic experience ever". When packing in the family to come and pick, ensure you add in the "wellies" or prepare to go in bare foot - fell the clay mud squelch between your toes, it will take you back to your younger days. DO NOT wear your best shoes, you will regret it.

So, if you're one for a bit of natural muddy fun, come on out to the farm, get here early (we've got pickers that were in the fields at 7:25 this morning.). Alternately, if you aren't one for mud and squelchiness, hold you visit over for another weekend. Whichever way, you'd need to get here early to avoid disappointment.

#seeyouinthefields #ibroughtwellies #funinthemud #berrylekker #familydayout  

Fantastic weather...

October 21, 2017

Good morning, we are in for a weekend of fantastic weather if you are a duck or a pluviophile according to the weatherman.

This morning has started out nice and sunny, but we expect conditions to change from about 11 this morning. There is a 45% chance of thundershowers from 1 p.m. and the chance climbing at a rate until the end of the day.

We will be open for picking come rain or shine. We will, however, close the fields if there is lightning.

So, come through early and make the most of this mornings fantastic weather. If the weather doesn't turn, you'll get to enjoy the picking even more. 

As always, we cannot guarantee the availability of strawberries at any time, as we do experience large influxes of people in waves during the day, and over the weekend- which is why we urge you to come through early.

If the weather turns early this afternoon and we experience thundershowers, we should have some really good strawberries for picking tomorrow, with the weather being partly cloudy for the majority of the day.

#seeyouinthefields #berrylekker #freshcountryair

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Need to contact us?

Give us a call on 012 207 1116

Send us an email: info@thestrawberryfarm.co.za

Our office hours are 8:00 to 16:30