If you’re looking for fresh, juicy fruit this summer, it won’t get any better than picking it yourself. Put on a hat, slather on some sunscreen, and spend a day among the plants on one of these farms across South Africa. Prepare to get your hands (and face) stained with sweet, sticky juice as you fill up on the ripe fruits in season.
Hoogwater Fresh Fig Picking
Spend a morning wandering between the trees in the orchard, filling up on as many figs as your heart desires (or your tummy can hold). Take whatever you can’t manage to eat home. There will be a pop-up deli, homemade croissants for early pickers and cheese boards. Wine tasting and sales are also on offer at the farm.
What to pick: Fresh figs (white flesh and Mediterranean) directly from the tree.
When to go: Saturday 08:00 to 13:00, from 13 January until 3 February (four Saturdays).
Location: Hoogwater Farm, R43 road towards Ceres, Wolseley.
Cost: R45 per adult and R20 per child. R5 per punnet that you take home. There are no credit card facilities so bring cash.
Contact: Madri Ochse on 0837622803 or visit Hoogwater’s Facebook page for updates.
Klondyke Cherry Farm
Enjoy a fun day picking cherries with the whole family, or stay a little longer in one of the three cottages on the farm for a mini break from the city.
What to pick: Cherries
When to go: Cherry-picking season starts from 23 November. Open daily from 08:30 to 16:00.
Location: Klondyke Farm, Ceres.
Cost: R30 per adult and R15 for children under 10. R5 for children under five. The farm has credit card facilities.
Contact: 0233121521, cherryfarm.co.za
Mooiberg Farm Stall
Don’t be scared away by the gigantic scarecrows that populate the farm, they’re really quite friendly on closer inspection. Bask in the sunshine while picking your own strawberries to take home. Stop off at the farm stall on your way out for some delectable treats to take home.
What to pick: Strawberries
When to go: Saturday and Sunday 09:00 to 17:00 between November and January
Location: Mooiberg Farm, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West on the R44
Cost: Charged per kilogram that you pick
Wildebraam Berry Estate
Wildebraam’s berry picking season has already begun, but it’s never too late to join the fun. Follow a morning of berry picking with a trip to the tasting room to sample the range of liqueurs produced in the private cellar and learn about the liqueur making process. Take home a delicious array of liqueured fruits, jams, dessert syrups, chutneys, relishes and pickles produced by the farm kitchen.
The Wildebraam Berry Festival is a three-day event from 1 to 3 December 2017. There will be Carols by Candelight and performances by Watershed and Manouche Gypsy Jazz Band on consecutive days. Visit Facebook for more information.
What to pick: Blackberry and youngberry
When to go: 13 November to 22 December.
Location: Wildebraam, S4 Hermitage South Lane, Hermitage Valley, Swellendam, 6740
Cost: R10 per person. If you buy your own bucket it’s R12 for a medium and R17 for a large. Blackberries are charged at R25 per kilogram and youngberries at R30 per kilogram.
Contact: 0285143132, wildebraam.co.za
Fill a small or large bucket with delicious strawberries while taking a carefree walk through the farm with the majestic Outeniqua mountains in the background. The friendly staff are always on hand to share their strawberry knowledge.
Photo courtesy of USDAgov
What to pick: Various types of strawberries.
When to go: Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 16:00, all year round.
Location: Redberry Farm, Geelhoutboom Road, off R404, Blanco, George.
Cost: a small bucket is R20 per person and a large bucket is R30 per person.
Situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountains near Hartbeespoort Dam. Eat as many strawberries as you like (or can, if you’re up for a challenge) while in the fields and fill a bucket to take home. Have lunch at Fraise or buy a picnic hamper to enjoy under the trees. They sometimes have to close at 14:00 if there are too many people, but announcements are posted on their social media pages.
What to pick: Strawberries
When to go: Saturdays and Sundays from 07:30 to 16:00 until the first week of December.
Location: Tangaroa Strawberry Farm, Hartbeespoort
Cost: R50 for under 10 and R70 for over 10.
Contact: 0825035996, thestrawberryfarm.co.za
Berry Picking at Bon-Af Berry Farm
Take a guided tour through the orchard and fill up on the wide variety of berries available. The exciting annual Bon-Af Berry Festival is scheduled to take place on 8 December 2012. Containers are provided for taking berries home and you can also purchase frozen berries out of season.
What to pick: Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and gooseberries.
When to go: open daily from 08:00 to 17:00. Picking is from end of November until the end of March.
Location: Bon-Af Berry Farm, next to the N1 on R59/R42 to Parys.
Cost: R40 per person for picking and R20 per person if you have just come to taste.
Contact: 0568113966, berry-farm.co.za
Litchi Farm, Salt Rock
Climb aboard a trailer pulled by the farm’s tractor for a trip to the orchard. While there, pick your own litchis and fill up on as many as you like. Make sure to sample one of the farm’s famous litchi shots.
What to pick: litchis
When to go: 10 December to 5 January, 09:00 until 15:00 daily.
Location: Litchi Farm, Umhlali, Salt Rock
Cost: R130 per person covers entrance and picking or eating. Buckets are 1,6 kilograms and included in entrance fee.
Contact: 0824175962, Facebook for more information.
Also read: 10 of our favourite Dolphin Coast stays
Treat yourself and the family to these certified organic blueberries on this Limpopo farm and enjoy lunch afterwards at Mountain Cafe. On 3 and 4 February 2018, the Magoebaskloof Berry Festival will be taking place. For updated information on this upcoming event, follow the Facebook page or visit berryfestival.co.za.
What to pick: blueberries
When to go: Wednesday to Sunday, beginning of December until the end of February, 09.00 to 17.00
Location: R71 about seven kilometres from Haenertsburg on the way to Tzaneen.
Cost: R60 per adult and R40 per child entrance fee, punnet included.
Contact: [email protected] or 0838808787