Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Auckland, New Zealand for the second time within two years to visit my kiwi mates and to enjoy the Kiwi summer heat. One of the highlights was definitely going out one sunny day to the Phil Greig Strawberry Gardens to hand-pick our own strawberries (and much to my dismay; sun burn on my shoulders from it!)
Everyone seems to have the same idea - loads of young families, tourist groups and people alike flock on through to the Strawberry fields paying the one-off admission fee of $7.50NZD (+1 kilo of strawberry for you to keep included in that fee) and with a bucket and plastic bag in hand, off you go!
We were advised by the kind Canadian woman who was manning the admission stall up front that these Kiwi grown strawberries are very much super-sweet and in full, bright red season. When I mentioned I was from Sydney, Australia she began to banter about how she had tasted some of ours previously - and they really don't match up in taste!
The fields are vast and ample in fruit - plenty of pickings to choose from and with the nifty tip from our Canadian friend to "[...] choose the vines with the purple leaves..." we easily find ourselves plucking up a plethora of ruby red and ripe strawberries.
It's an addictive sport - strawberry picking - if you could call it a sport. For us three girls we began to get competitive; trying to find the biggest fruit, the most weirdest shaped mutations or the most bunched up. We spent a good 45 minutes picking up the deliciously sweet fruits and popping them one by one into our buckets.