The Mooiberge Strawberry Farm: It’s berry mooi!

by - January 06, 2021

The Mooiberge Strawberry Farm: It’s berry mooi!

*For my international readers, ‘Mooi’ means ‘pretty’ 

If you have been reading my blog for some time, you would probably know that the Big Pineapple in Bathurst has been at the top of my local bucket list for a while now. It made my strange place bucket list years ago. More recently I recreated pictures of it for my lockdown Instagram series, and I even mentioned it in my interview with Bored Panda. I feel I may be their biggest completely unpaid brand ambassador. 

With the second wave of COVID-19 that is happening is South Africa right now (particularly bad in the Eastern Cape), going to visit it doesn’t seem like the best idea. So I decided to go in search of the next best thing, which also happens to be a lot closer to home: Some giant strawberries! 

Giant strawberries and other creatures at the Mooiberge Farmstall
Okay, they have lots of other oversized things too!

About the Mooiberge Strawberry Farm:
Also known as Wynland Boerdery, the Mooiberge Strawberry Farm is located in the Stellenbosch winelands just outside of Cape Town. The farm seems to date back to the early 1900s but the website (which seems to date back about as far) is a little unclear on when they started growing strawberries there. (Also things like opening times, picking seasons, the farm’s address, stuff like that. Thank goodness for blogs, right?)

Scarecrows at the Mooiberge Strawberry Farm

Reasons to go to the Mooiberge Strawberry Farm:

1. To see the scarecrows
Yes, I’m going order of importance! You may think that the biggest drawcard of a strawberry farm would
be to pick the freaking strawberries, but here that is not the case. There are other strawberry farms in Stellenbosch. Mooiberge is known for its huge paper-mache-resembling brightly coloured metallic scarecrows. Scattered throughout the farm and lining the entrance road, they’re quite the spectacle and make for great pictures. (Well, if you’re not only posting pictures taken inside your apartment for the time being anyway. ) 

The strawberry fields in Mooiberge, Stellenbosch

A scarecrow car in the Mooiberge strawberry farm, Cape Town

Tourist poses with scarecrow at the Mooiberge Strawberry Farm, Cape Town
My friend Bronwyn is the most intimidating person on earth, except when she's trying to look scary.

The website (which was probably last updated before the introduction of Instagram) also claims that their scarecrows are the most photographed in the world. Which is definitely 100% accurate! The Sharonicles also just happens to be the best travel blog on earth! You might not believe these facts but our moms can attest to their validity. If you’re one of those travellers who value the photos of an experience more than the experience itself, I strongly recommend this place. (Also, thanks for reading my blog but that’s terrible and I don’t like you.) 

Strawberry picking Mooiberge, Stellenbosch

2. To pick the freaking strawberries. Obviously. 
It costs R6 to enter the strawberry fields even if you’re just an Instagrammer. (Or at least it did when I visited.) You are given a little container for strawberry picking. When you’re done you will be charged for your strawberries by the weight. 

Strawberry pickings - Mooiberge

I’m not the biggest fan of strawberries (the texture freaks me out a bit - Their seeds are on the outside! What?) but I did it because it’s all part of the experience and I do enjoy a good smoothie! (I also didn’t want anyone to think I was just there for the pictures.) At R40 a kilo (during the 2020 season), it was super cheap too!

3. It's a great place for lunch (Or dinner):
If you work up an appetite but you don’t feel like any more strawberries, or if it’s just the off-season, located on site with a deck overlooking the strawberry fields and their scarecrows, is The Thirsty Scarecrow, a bar and restaurant. (If I remember correctly there are two restaurants. I believe the other one is called the Farmers Kitchen. I’m not really sure where the one ends and the other begins but you order off the same menu for both.) The restaurant/s is/are known for its/their tapas, pizzas and craft beers. 

The Thirsty Scarecrow -  Strawberry Farm Mooiberge

It is open 7 days a week, 11am -late and includes a children’s play area. It is also well-ventilated. 

4. The farmstall 
The farm is known for its farmstall. Not only does it have a wide variety of dried fruits, nuts, honey, jams and other products on sale but, being in Stellenbosch (wine country), you can also buy wine at greatly discounted prices. (Not that I drink, I’m a teetotaller but I have enabler-tendencies, so there you go. Its a pleasure!)

The Mooiberge Strawberry Farm, Stellenbosch

5. And the final reason it’s worth a visit is obviously for its giant decorative strawberries! 
I don’t think South Africans really appreciate the magnificence of oversized things. New Zealand is a fraction of the size of South Africa and it has a giant apple, a giant carrot, a giant kiwi fruit, and some other giant things. Australia has a giant mushroom, some pears (in one location), apples (in different places), an avocado, cherries, a potato, a macadamia nut, a mandarin, a mango, a melon, an orange, a peanut, a pumpkin, a strawberry (but only one) a watermelon, an olive, a banana, a bull named banana, and a whole lot of other giant things. America also has a number of oversized fruits and vegetables but they seem to appreciate random oversized objects like balls of twine, office chairs and frying pans more.

I don’t know why I seem to be the only person getting excited about the giant parking lot strawberries. They’re magnificent! Look at them!

South African roadside attraction: giant strawberry
Magnificent giant parking lot strawberry

If they’re not the most exciting oversized thing this side of Bathhurst’s Big Pineapple, I would like to know what is! (Seriously, please tell me?)

Strawberry picking tips:
  • Check the weather report before you go. Cape Town weather can be temperamental AF!
  • Unless you want to look like a strawberry, sunscreen and hats are a must. 
  • The flowers growing around them (possibly weeds but who's juudging?) do attract bees, so be careful if you are allergic. 
  • Unlike tomatoes and other fruit, they don’t ripen after you pick them, so only pick ripened strawberries (without green tips).
  • Leaving those leafy bits at the top and a bit of the stem attached prolongs their shelf-life.  
  • Cool or refridgerate them as soon as possible. 
  • Don’t wash them until you are ready to use them.

Strawberry farm at Wynland Boerdery

Opening hours:
Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: 9:30am – 4:30pm 
Open daily during December school holidays.
(Strawberry picking only from October to December) 

For more info you can contact them:
Phone: 021 881 3222
(Or, if you would prefer, a fax number is also available on their website. Remember faxes!)

The Mooiberge Strawberry Farm: Opening hours and prices

How to get there:
Address: Mooiberge Farm, R44, Annandale Rd, Stellenbosch, 7600
Transport: While there are buses and trains that go to Stellenbosch, private shuttles, rental cars or ride services like Uber or Lyft are recommended for international tourists to Cape Town or those without private transport. 

Colourful Scarecrows at the Mooiberge Strawberry Farm

COVID-19 precautions:
Being an outdoor activity, strawberry picking is relatively safe in terms of maintaining COVID-19 protocols. 
  • Masks are required to enter the premises. 
  • Sanitiser is provided at the entrance. 
  • The restaurant is open-air and well ventilated. Masks can be removed while dining.
  • Masks are required to be worn in the farm stall and social distancing is enforced.
  • Alcohol sales are subject to lockdown restrictions. 
Colourful animal sculptures at Cape Town's Mooiberge Farmstall
Remember to maintain a 1.5 metre distance

Happy strawberry picking!

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