“Let me take you down, coz I’m going to Strawberry Fields…” The classic Beatles song was floating over my head as I asked around Baguio’s Burnham Park on how I can commute to the famous Strawberry Field in La Trinidad, Benguet via jeepney. My budget was really limited so I was avoiding taxicabs like the plague.
I would have walked all the way to the La Trinidad if it was not so freaking far by foot. The strawberry plantation is located more than ten kilometers out from Baguio City; it might take me half the day to reach it. I’ve been to the place twice before and I really didn’t find the road going there to be that scenic, so I felt it’s gonna be a waste of time if I do my usual long jaunt.
My fare totaled to Php11.00, a tenth of what I paid by cab from before. I crossed the highway and I was soon strolling down the familiar narrow road leading to Benguet’s Strawberry Farm. Stores selling local handicrafts, sweet treats and souvenirs welcomed me as I slowly made my way through, savoring the cool weather and the early morning sun along the way.
Key chains fashioned after strawberries were piled at many of the stalls; some carved in wood, a few craftily crocheted from red and green twines. These artificial strawberries sit next to fresh produce harvested from the field, for the Strawberry Farm also yields other veggies besides the sweet fruit.
Lettuces, broccolis, cauliflowers and tomatoes are just a few of the vegetables harvested from the area. Now I know why my aunts always insist that I bring home a few kilos of veggies whenever I climb to Baguio City, the produce here are really fresh.
Strawberry Farm is located on a plain surrounded by a few clumps mountains. You can see nothing but greens, greens and more greens. The plantation stretches to the horizon, broken only by the local houses at the foot of the mountains.
The mountains themselves deserve a second look especially during the afternoons. Although I have never personally witnessed one in the area (almost but not quite), I’m betting my cameras that sunsets at the Strawberry Farm can be dramatic. I can just imagine the mist-covered mountains streaming the sun’s ray down the endless fields of strawberries.
But what really drive folks visiting Baguio City to the farm are of course the strawberries themselves. And what’s so different from the ones grown here than those being sold at the market you might ask? Well? Absolutely nothing.
The difference lies in how one gets them strawberries. In markets, you buy them from a stall and that’s it. But at the Strawberry Farm, you pick them from the earth yourself. You then have them weighed and then you whip out your wallet and pay for them. That’s right you are your own strawberry farmer.
The attraction I presume comes from the romanticized notion of us plucking deliciously red strawberries straight from the low-growing plants. I guess it’s sweeter that way. And honestly, when can you ever say you’ve picked your own strawberries? It’s not like you can just grow them on your own backyard.
The irony here though is that the strawberries you end up buying here are almost double the price than those at the market. You toil with the laborious task of sitting and plucking and you pay twice the price?
The reason they say is that picking strawberries is a delicate business. Clumsy hands tend to easily squash the fruits to a messy pulp, leaving a lot of loss revenues for the farmers. And then there is also the temptation of eating the fruits as you go, which is really not that easy to resist, seeing how plump and fresh these temptations area.
And of course, the experience of plucking that shiny red heart-shaped fruit itself is priceless, unless you’re on a budget like me, that is. So I contented myself with simply watching and taking pictures. Strawberries are not my favorites anyways (talk about a sour grape har har).
What I can afford though is the next best thing to fresh ripe strawberries.
As I walked along the narrow dirt paths along the field, I came across an ice cream vendor, selling what else, but strawberry ice cream. With the day quickly turning into a scorcher and with the treat at only Php10.00 for a cone, I certainly have to try it out. Now no one can ever say that I didn’t even try the sweet strawberries at La Trinidad’s Strawberry Farm. I certainly did and it is brain-freezingly good!
Address: Brgy. Puquis, La Trinidad, Benguet
How to get there via jeepney: Take a Trinidad bound jeep from the Baguio City Hall and ask the driver to drop you off at the Strawberry Farm. Fare is Php11.00
GPS Coordinates: 16.453413,120.581603
View Location on Google Maps