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Greenhouse strawberries ripe for the picking
By Tan Weiyun

THE late winter and early spring is prime season to pick strawberries, that ripen twice a year. City dwellers can escape to the suburbs, enjoy farming fun and pick luscious fruit.

Here are some strawberry growing centers that welcome visitors.

Jinshan District

The district's strawberry festival is underway through March 3. Visitors can pick and purchase fresh strawberries at eight orchards. Prices range from 30 yuan (US$40.80) to 40 yuan for 500 grams.

Visitors can tour the Jinshan Strawberry Research and Development Center, get a lesson on strawberry growing from farmers, and then go and pick some berries.

Around 5,000 plants are available in mini containers for those who want to grow fruit at home.

The festival includes a photography contest and instructions for children about growing strawberries at home.

Address: 8388 Caolang Road

How to get there:

By bus: Take Lianlang Line at Metro Line 1's Lianhua Road Station. It stops at Langxia Town. Ask the bus driver in advance to stop at entrance to the strawberry center.

By car: Take G60 Expressway, switch to the G15 Expressway; Exit at Jinshan New City ramp; Turn left on Songwei Road S. and turn left on Caolang Road.

Qingpu District

Zhaotun Town is Shanghai's most famous strawberry growing base where the industry started in 1983. It produces more than 40 varieties, known for their large size and sweet, juicy strawberry taste.

Qingpu families traditionally plant strawberries at home and along the way visitors can see strawberry fields and greenhouses.

Visitors can visit nearby Zhujiajiao watertown, famous for picturesque village scenes and brick and wood buildings from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

How to get there:

Take G50 (Huqingping) Expressway, then G1501 Expressway (toward Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway). Take Baihe Exit to Baishi Road in Zhaotun Town.

Fengxian District

The Shenya growing area is one of the biggest in the district. Plants are grown organically and pollinated by bees, so the fruit has a natural, fresh aroma. Visitors can pick fruits and vegetables, fly kites, eat country home-cooked meals and go fishing.

The area also features tomatoes of different colors, such as yellow, purple and green; they come in many shapes and sizes.

Address: 4698 Yanqian Road

How to get there:

Take Lupu Bridge to Puxing Road - Nanfeng Road - Yanqian Road - Shenya

Humin Elevated Road - S4 Expressway - G1501 Expressway - Puxing Road Exit - Guanguang Road - Shenya

Pudong New Area

Sunqiao Farm uses high-tech agriculture and greenhouses have automatic temperature control systems. Some vegetables are grown using hydroponics. There's a tropical orchard, a mushroom park and large children's zone. The large, sweet strawberries are famous; the variety was introduced from Japan. Visitors are not allowed to eat the strawberries while they pick.

Gaodong Strawberry Base contains more than 100 greenhouses, but the highlight are chocolate-flavored strawberries. They look like ordinary red strawberries but they have a light, chocolate taste.

Sunqiao Farm

Address: 185 Mianbei Road

How to get there:

Nanpu/Yangpu Bridge - Longdong Road - Zhangjiang Road - Sunqiao Road - Kenong Road and follow it to the end.

Xupu Bridge - Outer-Ring Elevated Road - Shenjiang Road - Junmin Road - Mianbei Road

Gaodong Stawberry Base

Address: 2020 Gaogong Road, Jingsai Village, Gaodong Town

How to get there:

Nanpu Bridge - Yanggao Road N. - Jufeng Road - Huadong Road - Yangjiagou Road - Gaodong Strawberry Base

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