I thought several times about writing this post as I prefer to dwell on that which is positive, uplifting and helpful but realised that wouldn't be fair nor real to our readers. Sometimes there is going to be stuff that hits the fan, and perhaps sharing this will in a round about way be encouraging to you. Life is not perfect! We are not perfect. So here goes.....
After such a wonderful memory-making outing last year to The Strawberry Patch, our experience mid March this year was atrocious. Just goes to show you can't pin everything on one time - good or bad.
When we got there and had parked we were made to feel we'd done something wrong as a forthright woman told us to park elsewhere as we were in the way of the tractor clearing cut branches and logs from felling at the far end of the car park. All she had to do was apologise for not having blocked this area off and ask us to park somewhere for the safety of the vehicle. [Incidentally I heard another patron complain that the labourers had indeed damaged her car that was parked outside the subsequently erected traffic cones.]
The entry to the pick your own area was a long walk to the other end of the patch. The strawberry bushes were like jungles requiring a lot of parting and clearing to find any fruit. After almost an hour we had only 1kg of strawberries - a very spartan amount.
Further down were rows marked as sprayed that had large juicy and accessible strawberries, but we were informed by the shop that these were reserved for their own punnets; and that PYO probably only had another day or two to go (as if that justified why there were none to pick?).
However we were given permission by another staff member to pick some from there (as he said they had been sprayed a week ago and were okay), and within 5-10 minutes had an additional 500g. This is when Mrs Surly from the the shop (who had told us nonchalantly that the rows were reserved) came storming out through the patch to confront us. Time to call it a day.
We didn't get the kilograms of strawberries we would have, didn't buy any trays of tomatoes, and we didn't stop for berry ice creams either. I just wanted to get out of there.
Oh and the prices had increased by 33% to $4 per kilo for pick your own even when there were none to pick!
Not a great experience at all. It just goes to show how disorganisation, miscommunication and poor attitudes ruin a business, because as we all know business relies on custom.
My biggest disappointment and embarrassment was that it spoilt the treat for the children, and our special out-of-town-guests.