SWEET DEAL: Ashbern Farms is opening its gates to public picking.
SWEET DEAL: Ashbern Farms is opening its gates to public picking. Matthew Purcell

Gates open to strawberry season

IT'S sweet pickings this week, as strawberry season opens on the Granite Belt.

As of yesterday, the public has been invited to visit on-farm to pick their own.

Stanthorpe's Ashbern Farms, who saw the first of their season's strawberries sent off farm this week, are now throwing open their gates to visitors for their own hands-on experience.

Strawberry season opening in Stanthorpe comes with reports of conditions delivering an ideal sweet taste.

"The cold nights and warm days have been ideal for the fruit now being picked, really enhancing the sweetness,” Ashbern Farms co-owner Brendon Hoyle said.

"Having come through a very dry and cold winter in Stanthorpe, the picking season has started with some welcome relief to the dry spell. We received 50mm of rain received on the farm in the last week. "The 13ha of strawberries are looking very strong with good flower set.”

With a young family themselves, the Hoyles know the joys of sharing the farm experience with kids.

"It's so important for them to see the whole paddock to plate. They taste very different when they are straight off the farm

"Anyone visiting can see the whole growing process, with the tiny little strawberry forming inside the flower and also strawberries where the petals are falling away.”

Make sure to stop by the farm cafe where strawberry ice-cream, made on the premises, atop waffles for the cafe's most popular treat.

Public picking is open at Ashbern Farms Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 4.30pm from October to May. Admission is free, making it an affordable day out.

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