Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Strawberry Fields PYO - Palmview

Today I took the boys strawberry picking at Strawberry Fields, Palmiew. This is something we had been wanting to do for ages but just hadn't got round to it. The PYO (Pick your own) season only runs from June to November so time was fast running out.

Strawberry Fields is not far off the highway, just west of Caloundra. The drive there took us about an hour. That new gateway upgrade is great!

Upon arriving at Strawberry Fields I was struck by how lush and green the area was. We stopped for a snack and a little play in the playground before beginning the hard work of strawberry picking!

You can choose from 250g, 500g and 1kg punnets to PYO strawberries into, of course we went for the 1kg ones. After picking you bring your haul back into the store where it is weighed and you are charged accordingly. We paid $10/kg for our strawberries but I understand this price changes frequently.

The strawberries were so lush. You are asked not to eat strawberries as you pick but the baby came out of the strawberry patch absolutely covered in juice, so there was no denying that he sampled a few along the way. I, too, couldn't resist a little taste, and there really is nothing to compare to the sweetness of a juicy ripe red sun-warmed strawberry eaten straight from the vine.

Strawberry fields is well set up for tourists with outdoor picnic tables and a store selling snacks and all manner of strawberry memorabilia. There is a cafe, however a sign out the front advised that it reopens "next season" whenever that may be... There was also a sign advertising sausage sizzles on the weekends, so maybe that's an option.

We had a fantastic morning and came back with a hefty haul of strawberries. My only advice would be to go early in the day before it gets too hot!

Friday, September 4, 2009

In Bloom - Bougainvillea

On our back fence.

Oxley Creek Common - Secret Forest

If you've ever been to the Rocklea markets, you've probably seen the windmill and the big red barn in a paddock off Sherwood Road and wondered what it is. Well, what you're looking at is part of Oxley Creek Common, and the gorgeous red barn is the visitor information shed!

In addition to its picturesque red barn (which deserves a post of its own at a later date), Oxley Creek Common has a well maintained walking trail through wattle dominated scrub high up on the creeks banks. This is no bush track though, you could comfortably drive a car along it, and cycling is permitted. The track meanders along for about a kilometer and a half and then forks, with "Pelican Island" to the left and "The Secret Forest" straight ahead.

From the track Pelican Island didn't look like much, so we chose to head to The Secret Forest (and who could resist with a name like that...). This meant a further 500m or so walk. As you approach the Secret Forest you enter a flat grassy plain broken only by the winding walking track.

In reality, the Secret Forest is a rather small stand of Hoop Pines, but being inside it is quite a magical experience. The stillness, the birdsong, the play of light and shadow through the canopy. And the pines are just soooo tall and majestic.