When Springtime arrives in South Korea, there’s more than the warm weather and cherry blossoms to enjoy – Spring is also the time when strawberries (Korean: ttalgi) are harvested, and you’ll see streetside fruit stalls and trucks displaying baskets upon baskets of the lovely fruit. But we decided that instead of just buying some from a grocery store, we’d go straight to the source: a strawberry farm.
Strawberry picking tours are a popular weekend activity among South Korean families. Most strawberries are grown in the Nonsan region, and the annual Nonsan Strawberry Festival is held in mid-April. However we were a little early for that, so our hostel owner at Seoul i Guesthouse very helpfully arranged for us to visit a small family farm outside of Seoul.
Barely 2 hours away by subway/rail and a 5-minute taxi ride from Ungilsan station, SongChon Lakeside Farm lets you pick your own strawberries. We were given a punnet to fill, ushered into a heated tent housing rows of strawberry plants, and taught how to pick the strawberries.
Guess what? Strawberries make a “pop” sound when you pluck them. The exact same sound you get when you pop bubble wrap. It was ridiculously delightful as I made my way along the rows of plants, popping the fresh strawberries off their stalks and into my mouth (yes, we could eat as many as we wanted while filling our punnet).
We also got the option to make strawberry jam, but we decided to watch others do it and buy a few jars of ready-made jam instead, since we didn’t want to sacrifice the strawberries we’d carefully picked.
For just KRW 15,000, the experience was definitely worth it – especially since I got to munch on a whole lot of fresh strawberries. Problem is, I don’t want to eat imported strawberries anymore…