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Summer has just ended in Germany and cooler falls are fast approaching. This post comes slightly too late for those who wanted to go summer strawberry picking in East Germany. I reckoned the thought of sweet berries should be enjoyed all year round. We visited a strawberry or Erdbeer farm, popular across Germany in the summertime.
Where is strawberry farm located?
The Sparglehof Ponickau Erlebnisplantage is located in Dresden-Weissig just off Dresden city in stunning countryside. The three Leipzigers drove up to Dresden for a day trip to meet fellow Singaporeans in Saxony for the first time. A supposed 90-minute drive up to the strawberry picking site turned into 2 hours due to the road works at the autobahn. The farm offers self-picking season fruits and vegetables and even cut flowers! When we were there in July, strawberries and blueberries were the fruits in season, and lilies were blooming nicely.
How much do you have to pay to pick strawberries?
There are no entrance fees into the farm, you pay per kilogram depending on what you picked. The strawberry farm was massive, and there were many varieties to choose from. The best part was, we could eat as we picked! There were big, bright red strawberries and small dark red ones. Initially, we went looking for the big red ones. The longer we spent picking and tasting the strawberries, we realised that the small dark ones were the sweetest. We sampled from other baskets as well, but I thought those that we laboured for ourselves taste the sweetest. Plus, you can pick as much as you want. Score!
What else can you buy at the farm?
As mentioned earlier, the entrance to the farm is free, therefore a must-go for strawberry picking in East Germany. But the farm shop also sells fresh produce. There were dried pasta, bottled honey, and homemade jams. There were ready-picked strawberries and raspberries if you didn’t have time to pick your own. As a city girl who loves to eat and cook, I was in awe of the choice of large and vibrant tomatoes fresh from the farm. Summertime also meant an abundance of courgettes and carrots too. As tempted as I was, I only purchased a box of blueberries on top of the 2-ish kgs of erdbeeren we picked.
2 kilograms worth of strawberries were definitely too much to eat for just the two of us, so we needed to be creative. What can you do with that many strawberries? Well, we tossed most in the freezer for smoothies later, and some of my more sweet-toothed friends made jam to enjoy.
Introduction to schrebergärten
Lunch was at Raphael’s Schrebergärten. It’s like a little summer place to get away from the city and grow your own fruits, vegetables and plants. I’m not quite a green finger, hence owning schrebergärten isn’t on my bucket list anytime soon. However, I am always keen to hang out in any garden for some barbecue and refreshing ice-cold drinks after strawberry picking.
Some of us still haven’t got enough of picking fruits, so we continued picking cherries off the trees in the schrebergärten. I got to sample blueberries and johannisbeere – German for currants – I finally tasted the real Ribena berry.
Since a good majority of the group that gathered were Singaporeans, we had our lunch potluck-style. There were yummy treats like banana bread, and traditional Singapore favourites Kuih Lapis and my contribution – Ayam Brand Sardine sandwiches. Raphael got the grill on and we enjoyed a variety of meats, zucchinis and stuffed mushrooms.
The Sparglehof Ponickau in Dresden-Weissig is currently closed as it is off-season. Come next summer, if you’re looking for some strawberry picking in East Germany, be sure to check out Sparglehof Ponickau. It’s free to enter; you just pay for what you pick, and the strawberries were so fresh and yummy. As a girl who grew up in humid Singapore, this experience was like no other.
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