Families pick their own for Christmas

Trying to pick 300kg a day ourselves

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 05:00 24/12/2012
tdn berry stand'
JONATHAN CAMERON
Greer Upson, 6, picks strawberries at Paradise Valley Berry farm

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The queue spilled out the gate of Paradise Valley Berry Farm as people arrived by the dozen to stock up on the sweet red treats for Christmas.

Owner Steve Smith said strawberry orders for Boxing Day had reached 400kg - that's 400 icecream containers - and that was on top of the troops arriving to pick their own. "We've had people queuing at 8am, out the gate and on to the road. We're trying to pick 300kg a day ourselves, and the public picks about the same."

He said they were working 9am-6pm, seven days a week to get the berries picked.

Today all the fields are open for pick-your-own.

The season had been good up until the rain this week, he said. "It was a slow start because November was cold at night. But there's a reasonable amount of fruit out there, so we should have plenty for the school holidays."

The Upson family are "die- hard" strawberry pickers who visit the farm every year. Greer Upson, 6, said her favourite part was finding the big ones.

It was the Tanner family's first time to Paradise Valley Berry Farm.

They were enjoying picking their own strawberries. The best part was eating as you went, said Benji, 7.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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