I love cherries. They are, without a doubt, my favourite fruit and one of the main things that I adore about the Christmas season. Every December, I find myself scouring the shelves of Woolworths in search of an incredibly over-priced but oh-so-worth-it punnet of cherries, which I inevitably will end up devouring all in one sitting. It is for this reason that one of the items on my ever-growing bucket list is to go cherry picking – something that can now be ticked off.
This weekend 6 of us packed up our cars with clothes and camping gear and set off for Klondyke’s Cherry Farm, which lies about 35 kms outside of Ceres. Ever since I heard about cherry picking earlier this year, I have been determined to organise a road-trip with some friends and my plans finally came together. The cheapest form of accommodation was camping (something that I had never done before this weekend), and so we rustled up some tents and sleeping bags and hit the road. Little did we know that as camping trips go, we were pretty un-prepared having only brought one torch between the 6 of us and no camping mattresses. Needless to say it was a weekend of limited sleep, sore backs, crashing into things, and dirty feet but it was still one of the best trips ever!
You know how everybody has their own mental image of paradise? Well Klondyke’s cherry orchard is now mine. I have never before seen so many cherries all in the same place. The trees were full of them and this glorious fruit hung off the branches like rubies sparkling in the sun. We spent the first few minutes with empty containers and bulging mouths, and then took full advantage of the abundance of bright red cherries that surrounded us. At only R40 per kg of cherries picked, we didn’t hold back and came home with a cooler box full of fruit.
So now that I have inspired you to visit Klondyke’s yourself, here is what you need to know. Cherry season usually starts in the last week of November and ends in the middle of December. Because we camped, we didn’t have to pay to visit the orchard, but for day visitors the entrance fee is R20 per person and R40 per kg of cherries you pick. There are 1kg containers available for visitors, or you can bring your own that will be weighed along with your cherries. If you are planning on staying at Klondyke’s, it is a good idea to book in advance as even the campsite fills up very quickly in cherry season.
If you need any other information about Klondyke's, visit them at www.cherryfarm.co.za.
Thanks to everybody who made this weekend so amazing - Cherry Christmas my awesome friends .x.