Monday, November 17, 2008

Pick your own strawberries

Come every summer holiday, after Christmas in New Zealand, families head to West Auckland to the straw berry fields with their young and not so young children, and grand parents, to part take in the pick-your-own straw berries.

I love these outings and confess that I ate more than I paid for. The farmers charge only what you have picked in your ice cream cartons and not what is is your tummy. A friend joked that perhaps the farmer should weigh me before I entered the farm.

After being away for sixteen years, I was enthusiastic to resume this tradition which is popular in England.( A fellow picker told me)

Alas,my kids grew up in Singapore. One was worried that the strawberries had pesticides and won't eat them unless they were washed. The other kid simply didn't like strawberries, period. The Boss whose genes the kids inherited, doesn't particularly like the fruit and the pesticides. That was the end of a summer fruit picking activity.

My family's weird ideas aside, straw berry picking is attractive to families, with many parents saying they wanted their children to experience what they had done as kids.

Not all horticulturists like to offer pick-your-own fruit as it tended to be less profitable. Some people ate more than they picked and the public could damage irrigation pipes in the fields. Half eaten and semi ripe strawberries can be seen strewn in the fields and children and even adluts trampled on the plants.

Picking your own straw berries may not be a cheaper option. Along the road side, vendors sell the fruits from their car boots and at a cheaper price. You also don't have to listen to your other halves' growling that just the petrol would have paid for the miserable kilo of straw berries.

You can't put a price on reminiscences.

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