Mooiberge Farm Stall
Interesting and attractive farm stalls may be found throughout the greater Cape Town countryside offering not only an enjoyable diversion but some great alternative shopping. One of the most interesting and most popular of these is the Mooiberge farm stall and strawberry farm situated between Stellenbosch and Somerset West on the R44. On any weekend, no matter what the weather, it is bustling with Capetonians looking for great quality and value farm produce, preserves, pickles and confectionery. The Zetler family , owners of the farm, has been supplying fresh produce to the local market and supermarket chains for more than 100 years.
You will be sure not to miss this attraction because the fence adjoining the road is lined with colourful papier-mâché scarecrows and other creatures, with an even greater variety including a blue giraffe, blue bull (for the rugby team) elephants, chameleons and the like lining the lane through the strawberry fields. Children are enthralled at these bright and colourful characters and they will enjoy clambering on the “strawberry choo-choo”; a rusty old wreck of a motorcar, or a tractor.
The farm stall is a harvest cornucopia, packed as it is with neat wooden shelves lined with jars of honey, jams, dried fruits, nuts, pickled vegetables, chutney, vegetables and the iconic South African dried meat known as Biltong. Mooiberge farm is, however, best-known for its strawberries which are distributed to major outlets and are also available to the public for picking in the fields during the season, which begins when the Cape Town summer has truly settled in during November. Because of its location a little distance from the sea the summer months here offer lovely still, warm weather making it ideal for spending time in the countryside. Mooiberge strawberry farm nestles in a beautiful
location at the foot of the mountains, surrounded by the Stellenbosch vineyards. Although you can purchase beautiful organically grown strawberries at the farm stall; the family is more likely to want to collect a basket at the farm stall and head off to the fields to do their own picking which you then take back to the farm stall and pay per kilogram for what you have picked.
Mooiberge Farm stall is not just about fresh and preserved produce but offers an enormous selection of wines; estate and table, as well as ports, brandy, spirits and liquers in the adjacent wine shop. Here you will find racks, oak barrels and baskets filled with newer wines as well as an impressive selection of vintage wines all of which are offered at affordable prices, and some at bargain prices. Great care has been taken to offer something to suit every taste and every budget. It is worth taking a drive out on a weekend if you want to stock up your wine cellar at prices that will not dent your budget, from a range that you are unlikely to find at your local wine outlet. If you are fortunate you may be invited to view the awesome temperature controlled underground cellar which is a repository for a large selection of vintage wines dating back to the 1970s and even older. For a selection of photographs of the underground cellar go to the gallery of their website : http://www.mooiberge.co.za
One of the newer additions to the farm is a country restaurant called “The Farmers Kitchen”, where one can enjoy modern country cuisine in the bright, cool restaurant which has a French Café ambience with its reds, whites , checks and recycled metal fittings. On nice days one may opt to dine on the open deck under the shade of colourful umbrellas while enjoying lovely views of the strawberry fields surrounding winelands and the beautiful mountains (mooiberge). The Farmers Kitchen offers both breakfasts and lunches.
To get there: One can take the R44 exit from the N2 highway just before Somerset West, and then follow signs for Stellenbosch or, if coming from the Southern Peninsula, take the Baden Powell /Stellenbosch road R310 and, just before Stellenbosch, turn right into Allandale Road, which will bring you to Mooiberge farm stall.
Insider tip : Mooiberge Farm Stall lies at the junction of the R310 and Allandale Road from Stellenbosch. If you have approached it from the R44, leave via Allandale Road and, at the junction with the R310, you will find the Zetler Farm Stall within the precinct of a filling station. This farm stall, too, belongs to the family and seems to be known only to the locals. You may be lucky enough as I was, to find some wine bargains that were not available at Mooiberge; like a few bottles of 2006 Estate Mouvedre marked down by 75%, and magnificent indeed they were.
By : Horizon Cottages: Affordable Cape Town family cottages and chalets