Mahabaleshwar is synonymous with strawberries. This juicy delightful fruit leaves many people wanting more. Some have even invented innovative food items such as strawberry jellies, fudge and even a strawberry pizza! Now that we’ve got your mouth watering, here is everything you need to know about strawberries in this charming hill station.
Mahabaleshwar—The land of strawberries
The main reason why you will find strawberry farms in Mahabaleshwar is due to its climate. Strawberries need a cool, stable, and dry climate. Strawberry plants mainly thrive in regions where the temperatures range between 18 °C and 25 °C. The region between Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani supports this very type of climate.
This is also what makes strawberries very rare in the country as most of India has a hot and humid climate, making it unfit for such cultivation. Hence, every year you find around 5,000 farmers cultivating about 3,000-4,000 hectares of land for this purpose in this region.
A day at the farm
In a strawberry farm, you will mostly see the plants growing in rows. However, these are sometimes grown in vertical stacks as well. During the harvesting season, pickers are given boxes in which to store the berries. The strawberries are first plucked and then segregated depending on their quality. The farmer or owner of the farm will help you with this when you get down to trying your hand at plucking. Most of them also give new pickers a short description of strawberry cultivation and various techniques for the same. Here are a few tips to pick strawberries like a pro:
• Always pick firm and entirely red strawberries
• Don’t over stack the strawberries in your box
• Take care that you don’t step on any plants as they can be extremely fragile
This is an awesome activity to indulge in with the kids. It teaches them about the ecology and cultivation; while at the same time they get to savor delicious, fresh strawberries!
Celebrate the Strawberry Festival
Be it young or old, everyone loves a festival and especially one with strawberries! The Strawberry Festival was started by Mapro, a major jam making company, when its production of strawberries greatly exceeded the market demand. As time passed, many other farmers joined this tradition. Today, this has become a four-day festival with a lot to see, taste, and experience. Know more about popular festivals of Mahabaleshwar you can indulge in during your family vacation.
The festival showcases raw strawberries in abundance. It even displays innovative strawberry-based products which are a sure way to capture the hearts of many foodies and those willing to sample something adventurous! Some products that have been showcased before include chocolate-dipped strawberries, strawberry pizza, strawberry sandwich, strawberry bhel, and a whole lot more! Be sure that you and your kids stop to sample some of these.
Every year during the strawberry festival, tourists are not only allowed to pick but also to eat as many strawberries as they like! A number of farmers also open their strawberry farms for this purpose. Other fun things include the cultural performances and other entertainment. Know more about fun – filled things to do in Mahabaleshwar during your family trip.
Best time to visit
If you are traveling specially to see the strawberry farms in Mahabaleshwar full of fruit, then the period between December to February is the best time to visit. However, if you are eager to be here during the Strawberry Festival, then you will have to head to this hill station in March or April.
About Club Mahindra Sherwood
There are a few resorts in Mahabaleshwar that offer guests a strawberry farm visit. Club Mahindra Sherwood leads the pack in this department. Apart from the strawberry farm visits, the resort also offers modern amenities for a comfortable stay and plenty of activities for the entire family like trekking, boating, pottery-making, indoor games and a lot more! All this is what makes Club Mahindra Sherwood one of the best Mahabaleshwar resorts. Plan a vacation with Club Mahindra and have a pleasant stay at resort in Sherwood, Maharashtra.
While in Mahabaleshwar, don’t forget to get some freshly-picked strawberries for other relatives and friends. After all, everyone should try this delicious treat at least once in their lifetime.
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