Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever: My Baguio Strawberry Farm Experience

It had always been a dream for me to go to the Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet. I had been to Baguio a couple of times but I never had the chance to visit the famous farm. But during my last visit to Baguio during the third week of February 2012, a few days before Panagbenga Festival, I swore I won't miss it anymore. And so I went.

Tip #1: Never leave for the Strawberry Farm later than 7:00am. Traffic can be ugly in Baguio. The farm opens as early as 6:00am. As much as possible, be there at that time for maximum farming experience. It's fun seeing the dew on the leaves you know?


We arrived at the farm of my dreams at around 6:30am. Not bad. This morning photo of the strawberry field as well as the houses and hills in La Trinidad relaxes me a lot.


When we arrived, we were greeted with a smile by the kind-faced caretaker of the strawberry field we went into. There are actually a lot of them in here but he was the first one we met so we decided to pick in his field. That morning, he had already harvested this basket full of "Festival" breed of strawberries. Festival strawberries are the elongated shaped and bloody red colored strawberries growing in La Trinidad.


Tip #2: Notice that every other walkway in between rows of planted strawberries are wet. Some are dry. This means you can only walk upon the dry ones. Don't get slipped ok? 



I was having a blast when I started picking! Woohoo!


My first pick. Beautiful strawberry. This breed is called Sweet Charlie. True to its name. It's really sweet.

Tip #3: When you pick a strawberry, try to include a little stem with it. This will help the strawberry stay a little longer. They really are fragile little ones.


My serene strawberry farming was suddenly interrupted by a familiar bellow. Tahoooo!


But it wasn't an ordinary taho there in La Trinidad. It's strawberry taho! How saucy!


Despite the saucy-looking strawberry taho, it failed to convert me to an instant fan. I grew up being used to the usual vanilla-caramel syrup. I decided to stay loyal. This one's worth the try though!


I went back to my farming. Carefully picking only the best of the bests!

Tip #4: Wear good shoes and pants. You'll go farming, not shopping. Be prepared for some mud and loads of fun!


Abundant harvest! One basket is actually around Php300 only but after weighing, this one costed around Php370.

Tip #5: A basket of pre-picked strawberries may cost you only around Php100 in La Trinidad. But if you want to pick your own strawberries, you pay around Php300.

If I may suggest, avoid haggling too much with the farmers. In fact, give them tip if you can. Tourists like us is a very big help for them. It's truly a tough job to maintain a strawberry farm - we don't have any idea. They said if it rains (and it rains unusually much nowadays, the farmers said) it destroys the fragile strawberries. The strawberries also lose their sweetness if it rains too much.

 Tip #6: Go farming for the sweetest strawberries of the season during the months of March and April - the hottest and less rainy months. "The flavor is fuller when the sun is up!" the farmers declared.
This basket-full of pre-picked Festival strawberries is only around a hundred bucks. So affordable!

Tip #7: As much as possible, don't cover the strawberries. Leave them open and avoid soaking them up in their own "sweat" or water. It will spoil them. If you're traveling, keep them in a cool and dry place. When you get home, place them in the fridge right away and avoid soaking them up with water. It's best to place them in containers with holes, if you have.


If you haven't shopped for pasalubong yet, the La Trinidad Strawberry Farm is a perfect venue for your last minute shopping. They sell rags, walis tambo, strawberry jams, choco flakes, vegetables, Everlasting garlands, keychains, pot holders and many more.
A well-kept gondola. I wanted to buy some non-alcoholic Blueberry wine from this shop but my already heavy baggage won't allow. My next goal!


Oh and if you like oranges, try the Sagada oranges! It's my favorite orange fruit of all time. Plus it's grown in the Philippines!


I left Baguio with a big smile. Mission accomplished! This photo was taken in front of La Trinidad Public Market. I loved the sight of tons and tons of fresh veggies being carried here and there. I'm truly in love with this place. Definitely be coming back!

3 comments:

  1. I was young when I first visited the strawberry fields.. Hmmm I would like to have some strawberry taho soon...

    ReplyDelete
  2. You really enjoyed your trip at the Strawberry Farm in Baguio :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could really find the best of the fresh vegetables and fruit crops at Baguio City

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