I remember going strawberry picking in Perth with my mum and sister, way back in the day. We'd get in the car and drive forever to this insanely remote strawberry farm, I'm talking middle of nowhere. Or, at least that is how it seemed to us at the time, because there was nothing around - these days, it's tilt-up city right up to the farm gates as Perth sprawls and spreads.
My Facebook feed has been full of people picking strawberries lately, and with all the memories rushing back, I just had to get in to it and take the kids these school holidays.
As if she was reading my mind, my bestie was about to take her boys, so we went together. MG, me, Tricky, Bobbin, a preggo Mrs O, and her boys L and B. I had visions of us having a fabulous morning out together, but I underestimated the crankiness of a tired toddler who doesn't particularly like the wind on the windiest day ever.
We rocked up to T & H Holl & Son Strawberry Farm on Badgerup Road, Gnangara at 9:30am, grabbed an empty box for $5 and proceeded up the hill to fill it! The boxes don't look that big, but strawberries are small and it will hold around 3kg of them.
|Look for this sign and a big shed with T&H Holl & Son|
Fat, juicy strawberries hung heavy on lush green plants all around us and the air smelled sweet. It was heaven. We couldn't wait to get started so the boys ran up the hill ahead of us all. The best strawberries were in the far corner - possibly because some people couldn't be bothered walking that far, but we were on a mission so we did it!
My lot were in gumboots because the weather bureau had forecasted rain and a friend had told us it was very sandy. The weather turned out beautiful for us, but the gumboots were still great - my two didn't have any sand in their shoes at all. Winning!
Bobbin complained incessantly about the wind, and demanded to be held in the carrier most of the time... except we didn't bring the carrier because, oh, we were meant to be bloody picking strawberries! I really thought she'd be in to it - she was eating enough at first to give that impression, but soon got tired and whinge, moan, grizzle.
The boys had a great time and most of their conversations were:
"We picked one thousand strawberries!"
"Well we picked a million!"
"I mean we picked a billion!"
"Actually we picked INFINITY strawberries!"
Ahh, five year olds.
The farm isn't open every day because the strawberries need a chance to ripen and buggers like us keep on going and picking them, but finding out when you can pick your own is like pulling teeth. The owners, although lovely, weren't sure when the next strawberries would be ready.
They have pre-picked boxes for sale there, too, so on days when you can't pick your own you can still buy. The "jam boxes" are $2 and have about 2kg of sub-optimal strawberries in them... although they looked pretty damn optimal to me. They also have drinks available for a few dollars if all that pickin' gets you hot, and when we were there they had local garlic for sale.
Tricks was so happy pottering around, trying to find the best strawberries and took great pride in helping me make jam when we got home. Which means I only have 2.6kg of strawberries left... um, what should I make next?
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Other places to pick strawberries in Perth:
Ti Strawberry Farm - 263 Old West Road Bullsbrook. I haven't been there but my friends highly recommend it. They're open every day of the school holidays and charge a per person entry fee on top of the box fee. You're still getting a cheap and healthy activity.