March is the best month to visit Mộc Châu District in northern province of Sơn La, when visitors can pick up red ripe strawberries right at farms.
Locals said strawberry season start from October to May. From the end of October and November, strawberry gets mature yet not in mass number. From December to March, strawberry reaches harvest season, when strawberry gets ripe in mass number, the fruits reach the biggest size.
Locals have brought strawberry seeds or seedlings from central city of Đà Lạt or Japan since 2010. There are now more and more farms of strawberry all over Mộc Châu District.
|Climate in Mộc Châu is suitable for raising strawberry. — Photo courtesy of Mộc Miên Homestay|
Strawberry farms usually have careful preparations from choosing seedlings to enriching the soil and care for the plants.
“The seedlings should be ready in May and June, and in August, local farmers make the soil and start to plant in September,” Lường Thị Hồng Tươi, owner of Mộc Miên Homestay told Việt Nam News.
Locals cover the soil with a layer of nylon to avoid worms and keep the strawberry clean from dust so that customers can pick and eat strawberry right at the farm.
The big difference in temperature in daytime and nighttime nurtures the strawberry plants so the fruits here are sweeter than in plain areas.
The most popular ones include Hoa Mộc Châu Farm, Chimi Farm and Mộc Miên Homestay with sweet big strawberries and chill corners for taking photos.
Hoa Mộc Châu Farm is located in Hoàng Quốc Việt Road, Mộc Châu Farm Town.
|Hoa Mộc Châu Farm offers strawberry of VietGap standard. — Photo courtesy of Hoa Mộc Châu Farm|
There are two areas for planting: inside and outside a greenhouse.
“I have visited many local farms, I think this farm is fairly large with big path between soil beds so that visitors can move easily and pick strawberries as well as taking photos,” said Nguyễn Hằng Nga, a visitor from Hà Nội.
There are some decoration corners for taking photos as well.
“My children like picking strawberries between lush plants,” she said.
The farm follows VietGap standard, so visitors can eat strawberries right away, even not cleaning, Hằng said.
Farm with good view
Chimi Farm Mộc Châu is among the most popular farm planting strawberry and opens to visitors.
|Guests can enjoy other fruits at Chimi Farm, not only strawberry. — Photo from Chimi Farm Facebook|
The farm is located in Áng Village, Mộc Châu Town, near popular pine forest destination.
From total area of 0.3ha in 2015, the farm has been enlarged to 6ha now.
“This farm looks like strawberry gardens in Đà Lạt, which are bordered with lush pine trees,” noted visitor Nguyễn Hữu Phú from Hà Nội.
There are tomatos, pumpkin and other vegetables and roots planted in accordance with clean agricultural produces standard.
The farm offers various processed food from fresh strawberry like strawberry smoothies, yoghurt with strawberry and strawberry jam.
A popular overnight rest place for visitors in Vặt Village, Mường Sang Commune, Mộc Châu District, Mộc Miên Homestay has over 3,000sq.m of land for planting strawberry.
“We pick some 1,000kg of strawberry each day in harvest season,” Tươi said. “We send the most to Hà Nội while visitors can buy right in the farm.”
|French guests at Mộc Miên Homestay. — Photo courtesy of Mộc Miên Homestay|
Visitors can order meals at the homestay and even stay here over night. The homestay offers sleeping places for up to 40 guests per night.
A special thing in Vặt Village is that guests can enjoy a folk music show by local Thái ethnic group at nights, after dinners.
“In strawberry harvest season, the dessert for meals at our homestay is fresh strawberry,” Tươi said.
Tươi said the homestay has planted Japanese Hana strawberry genre since 2013.
|Tươi harvests some 1,000kg of strawbery a day during peak harvest season. — Photo courtesy of Mộc Miên Homestay|
“We don’t use any fertiliser but do not have any certificate for our strawberry product,” she said honestly.
Let's come to Mộc Châu in this month to taste fresh strawberry and much sweeter memories of a beautiful land with warm people. — VNS