Friday, 21 March 2014

Rainbow Organic Strawberry Farm, Fanling

A couple of years ago we (the family and I) decided to try out a place in Fanling called Lavender Garden. It’s just down the road from the Hok Tau reservoir and BBQ site and, although being a bit of a traipse, is nestled in a lovely part of the territory. Anyway, we inadvertently made the trip again recently (it's a long story involving a school trip, so I will spare you the details) and this time were immediately attracted to a lady at the back of the garden who had some very ripe and juicy strawberries on display (warning: this post may contain peanuts and various offensive double entendre...).

Lavender Garden itself is a HK-style 'amusement' park (i.e. a playground with some slides and a load of BBQ facilities) with the obvious addition of some nicely cultivated lavender fields at the back. Pretty and nice to visit but by itself not much to write home about. Thankfully the organic farm behind it provides a bit of additional distraction and so this is where we headed once the kids had got bored with the wouldn't-get-past UK-health-and-safety-laws slide and other kiddy amusements.

Wander beyond the fences at the back of Lavender Garden and you will find a large piece of land being used for cultivation of various produce including, but not limited to, lettuce, tomatoes and some great looking strawbs. This place is supposedly 'organic', which in the UK would mean it was certified by someone like the Soil Association, however, in Hong Kong, the equivalent seems to be the Vegetable Marketing Organisation. The VMO is some sort of semi-governmental organisation closely associated with the AFCD. I have no idea whether its organic produce would pass the stringent criteria used in the UK (and elsewhere), but I guess it’s better than nothing.

The name of the place is the Rainbow Organic Strawberry Farm. The website is here: It’s in Chinese but click on a link and you will be taken through to some photos and most people know how to use Google Translate these days, right?

Just head over to the tent/gazebo and pick up a basket (or two or three) and off you go. Once you have enough strawbs then just take them back to the same place to get them weighed and boxed.

Right, what I should say is that the strawberries are not cheap, well, they never are are they?. On the day we went it cost $60 per pound, but if you got 3 lbs then the third was free (so 3 lbs for around $120). I have to say they were extremely good quality and very sweet as you would hope and there are plenty of plots to choose from. They tend to cordon off the areas where the fruit isn’t quite ripe enough but, this being HK, it didn’t stop people just ignoring the cordon and getting them anyway.

Now, the question everyone asks - how to get there? Easy. Head to Fanling East Rail station and take either exit A or C and head down to the minibus/maxicab terminus. Grab the green-topped number 52B minibus and light at Lavender Garden. Walk through the the farm. The actual address is: Lot DD 76 Hok Tau, Fanling, but I'm not sure how useful this information is. Alternatively just jump in a cab.

I've put a marker on the location option below so you can use this to get an idea of where you need to go.

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