Each year during the height of summer, Peter and Steph Kristofski's berry farm turns into the Nelson equivalent of a theme park.
Mr Kristofski estimated yesterday that more than 1000 people flooded in to pick their fill of raspberries, strawberries and boysenberries each day during the two weeks before Christmas.
"You look over and the paddocks are just full, there's a line up to here down the driveway."
He said some of the visitors were coming home from Wellington and Christchurch for Christmas, but most were locals. Every year, he had new local visitors who told him they had never come and picked berries before, while many maintained a tradition of returning each summer.
"There's always a big smile on people's faces when they're eating berries," he said. "Get them berries and an icecream and they're happy."
Mrs Kristofski said the farm was the focus of much anticipation over spring and early summer.
"There's all that waiting, and then there's this very small window when it all happens."
Berrylands will remain open until Easter, but the fresh boysenberries and raspberries will only be available for another month. The strawberries will continue, and Mr and Mrs Kristofski are growing honeydew melons, watermelons and sweetcorn to add to the offerings.
Frozen berries will remain available for icecreams, and a cafe with locally made gifts for sale is being prepared for a post-Christmas launch.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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