The highlight of my entire year – Cherry Season is upon us and I couldn’t be happier. I have been waiting patiently for months, planning my trip for the fourth year consecutively – a bit of a personal tradition for us. Klondyke Cherry Farm in Ceres might be a bit of a drive away (2 hours to be exact), but every moment is worth it. Nestled in the beautiful Ceres mountains, with a wonderful picnic/braai area under the pines overlooking a picturesque panorama it is a perfect day out/weekend getaway.
Accommodation is hard to come by as bookings during peak season have been full for months in advance. The farm consists of three self-catering cottages that are fully equipped, with a cosy fireplace and an outdoors braai area. There is also the option to go camping, with adequate facilities which include electrical points and ablution facilities.
The drive there in itself is a treat; a breathtaking, windy road through scenic mountain passes, quaint towns and passing fruit orchards. This in itself is a worthy day out, with numerous view points to stop at and fully appreciate the experience. It is best to make an early start of the day and have a full-packed day out. I went prepared with snacks and coffee for the drive, breakfast and lunch packed for the destination. You can take your braai or gas stove to warm/cook the food. Even though it is summer, do not forget to pack jackets as the area is known to be windy.
Klondyke Cherry Farm is open during the season 7 days a week and closed only on Christmas day. Trading hours are from 8:30am – 4:00pm.
The entrance fee is a mere R30 per adult, R15 for children under 10 and those under 5 are free. You get containers in which to fill your cherries in, although you may bring your own. Flat containers are best so as to not squash your treasure and it is advisable to take a cooler along to transport your stash home safely. The orchards are filled with several varieties of cherries and you get to roam them at leisure. Climbing the trees are prohibited but step ladders are provided so you may get access to pick the juicy fruits at the top!
Unfortunately with the change in weather patterns, the lack of rain and the cold weather we are still experiencing, this year the cherries were a bit of a disappointment. The cherries are not yet ripe enough to be overly excited about. A lot of trees were bare, others had unripe cherries and only a few trees, far between had red cherries. Not the deep burgundy that gets my heart pumping, but still good enough to eat and enjoy.
Cherries aside, the day out was thoroughly enjoyable. As with all, good days must come to an end and before I knew it, time was up. With my stash safely packed in the boot, we were off. The cherries are sold by weight at R60 per kilo, which by the standards of supermarket prices is a really excellent deal. This year I took much less than I would have liked to, but that just gives me all the more reason to go back in a few weeks time when hopefully the fruits have ripened to perfection. The week ahead I foresee wonderful days each starting with the glorious breakfast of a bowl of cherries.
If you are in the Western Cape, pleases don’t let the opportunity pass! Take a day out to experience the wonders of the outdoors, a fun family outing, roaming the orchards and gorging on 1 of natures greatest gifts to our taste buds. Season ends at the end of December, but it is always a good idea to call before you decide to make the trip.