The enchanting city of Nuwara Eliya, which lies nestled amidst rolling mountains, is a place that is blessed with incredible natural beauty. So this glorious city which is often called ‘Little England’ is resplendent with glistenning waterfalls, flowering valleys, misty hills and lush tea estates. The weather is quite soothing here too, in stark comparison to the climatic conditions of the rest of the island! There are enchanting colonial buildings to admire as you explore the picture perfect territories of this beautiful city.
Among the many delightful farms located in the city, the strawberry farms are indeed quite attractive. Many travelers visit these farms to observe and admire the manner in which the delectable fruits are grown and harvested. Visiting a strawberry farm is an ideal activity that you can do. Especially if you are traveling with little ones in Nuwara Eliya. The strawberry farms of the city can be easily reached via Hakgala, Ambewela Road and New Zealand Farm Road. You will be able to find freshly picked fruits being sold at many roadside stalls as well. The prices of strawberries are quite attractive in Nuwara Eliya too! The Ambewela Farm, Adam Agro and Rose Garden are some of the popular strawberry farms that you can consider visiting.
When looking at the plantation of strawberries, the main planting season for strawberries begins in September, the nursery preparation process begins well ahead with the planting of mother stock. Tended with the utmost care, these mother plants start shooting runners a few weeks after planting, which are then cut and potted in preparation for bed planting. Greenhouse construction includes the careful laying of gradients for proper drainage, mulch for proper weed/pest cover and dripper systems for fertigation - a few of the myriad aspects covered meticulously in this phase. Land and bed preparation, as we call the preparation of the lay of the soil and land, is an arduous task requiring much precision and time.
Once the beds and irrigation systems are ready, planting begins in earnest. Each potted plant is carefully removed and planted in neatly aligned beds, angled just right to absorb as many nutrients as is required for the months of work ahead. From this point on, care is a mix of diligent tending of the plant, weeding and providing the optimum support, in the form of bees for pollination, plant analyses for ensuring the maximum possible nutrients are absorbed, and warding off of pests.
Harvesting of strawberries starts two months after planting, when fruit is at its biggest, tastiest and juiciest. The first fruit from each plant is always the biggest and often the most off-shaped, although extremely tasty! From this point on, harvesting takes place daily, although quantities and size vary based on the plant life-cycle and the stage of planting in the staggered planting system.As soon as the strawberries comes off the plant, it is a rush to get the fruit sorted, packed to specification, labeled and into the chillers for removal of field heat. It is this process that chills the fruit down to the required temperature of 2 degrees for an optimum shelf-life of up to 2 weeks.