SIGHT­SEE­ING

Annabelle Mal­lia heads straight to the farms for the fresh­est and best fruit of the sea­son.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Sum­mer­time is smoth­ered in straw­ber­ries, freshly picked straight from the fields.

Be­ing from Aus­tralia, where fresh fruit and veg­gies are grown all year round, it took me some time to get used to the sea­sonal

avail­abil­ity of pro­duce here in Ger­many. I was dis­mayed that, come spring, I couldn’t find pump­kin any­where to make my fa­vorite roasted veg­etable salad or that I had to en­dure a long win­ter of ap­ples and cab­bage. But be­fore long I too was hooked on the in­tense colors and fla­vors that would pop up at farm­ers' mar­kets with each change of sea­son. Sum­mer­time in Berlin is smoth­ered in sweet straw­ber­ries. Train sta­tions and busy street cor­ners sprout gi­ant, straw­berry-shaped stands tempt­ing com­muters with freshly picked berries from the fields. The only thing bet­ter is pluck­ing them straight off the vines your­self at places such as Ber­liner Beeren­garten (www. berliner­beeren­garten.de), or "berry gar­dens," lo­cated all around the city and in the Bran­den­burg area. Rasp­ber­ries and blue­ber­ries are also on of­fer, de­pend­ing on when you visit. The deal is al­ways the same: The more you pick, the cheaper the price, but you only ever have to pay for what’s in your bas­ket and not what you’ve eaten along the way. An­other such heav­enly place is Vier­felder­hof (www. vier­felder­hof.de), where you can also re­treat to the café for a well-de­served break and re­fresh­ment af­ter a hard day's work (or per­haps just an hour or so) of pick­ing in the fields, while the kids get an in­sight into life on the land, vis­it­ing the an­i­mals and climb­ing on the trac­tor and haystacks.

At Karls Er­leb­nis-Dorf (www.karls.de), just west of Berlin, you can’t pick your own, but you can ex­pe­ri­ence straw­ber­ries in all their glory. There are piles of fresh straw­ber­ries to buy, jam- and candy-mak­ing demon­stra­tions, and a smor­gas­bord of straw­berry-themed prod­ucts in the store. And when the kids have had their fill of berries, they can head to an ad­ven­ture play­ground with a splash pool, pet­ting zoo, maze, and a great potato sack slide while you sa­vor a de­li­cious straw­berry cake topped with whipped cream.

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