I have fond memories of strawberry picking in the UK as a child, despite all the threats from my mother that I would be weighed on entering and leaving the park, and charged accordingly. I was therefore keen to introduce my own children to this wholesome outdoor activity, which runs from December to April in Hong Kong. Rainbow also has a couple of baby goats to feed, which my kids, aged 2 and 4 absolutely loved doing.
This was my first visit to Rainbow Organic Park Strawberry Farm having previously visited Kadoorie Farm and Zen Organic Farm, although each of these occasion had been out of season for strawberries. Rainbow is situated near Fanling and the China border, around 50 minutes' drive from Central HK, or you can take the train.
We went on a Tuesday in half term and were the only ones there, so I am not sure when it does get busy. Parking was abundant on the road outside, after which followed a 5 minute walk through gardens and allotments to reach the farm, spotting colourful butterflies all the way.
There is a pond of fish which the kids can feed, but by no means on the same scale or as picturesque as at Kadoorie farm. The goats really were the highlight in terms of animals. There are currently two babies, along with their nanny and billy, and for $10 a basket of greens (about 6 choi), the kids can feed them, which I assure you they will love doing, even if they are initially nervous (as was mummy).
There are also some rabbits in cages.
There are a few strawberry patches in full bloom, and you can pick the Japanese organic variety for $150/lb. It's possibly cheaper to hire a stretch limo and buy them at Great, but hey, the kids will love it...
There are signs warning you that the park is patrolled and will charge you $80 for eating while you pick. It was unclear if that is per person or strawberry. We were therefore very discrete... Both my 2 and 4 year old children picked up the skill quite quickly, being careful to avoid the squashed ones, green ones, and any that didn't come away easily in their hands.
Since they are grown organically without the use of pesticides, do not expect perfectly formed strawberries or for them to last too long once you get home. Most of ours were eaten or squashed in the car on the return trip anyway.
While the park told us that corn and tomatoes were also available, we didn't pick any but I did buy a few in the shop. 3 small punnets of strawberries, 4 corn, 3 heirloom tomatoes, 1 beetroot and 1 lemon cost $350, the price of which you can marginally offset with the $10 entrance fee per person.
I would highly recommend Rainbow for a half day activity over the weekend or holidays. We spent around 90 minutes there feeding the animals and picking fruit. I spied a few picnic stops on the way, so might take a packed lunch next time to maximise the journey there.
In the unlikely event that you do have any left by the time you get home, they make a good chia pudding for breakfast the next day... Recipe at end of this text.
1 cup of milk (cow's, soya, almond, rice - whatever)
3 tablespoons of chia seeds
1 teaspoon/tablespoon of your sweetener of choice
You can then add mashed strawberries to the pudding, or chopped fruit in layers as well as granola, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs - the world is your oyster!
Mix 3 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1 cup of milk, cover and allow to soak overnight. Then mix it well in the morning to get rid of any lumps. Then mash some strawberries into the chia pudding and garnish with slices.