I guess it’s a sad indictment on modern life that picking your own strawberries is now a tourist attraction. And it’s going gangbusters, if my visit to Ricardoes Tomatoes & Strawberries at Port Macquarie on an ordinary Monday morning is anything to go by.
Ricardoes is a ten minute drive out of town and is just off the Pacific Highway, so it’s a good spot for a break if you are doing the Sydney to Brisbane slog.
Richardoes grows hydroponic tomatoes and strawberries in two acres of greenhouses. You can pick your own strawberries (and lettuce too), go condiment fossicking (we picked up three bottles of strawberry and rhubarb jam, which am looking forward to smothering on toast) and there’s a cafe, Big Red, where you can sample their famous tomatoes.
We shared a tomato bruschetta, which was up there with Italian tomatoes for flavour. It’s no surprise the 2014 Royal Easter Show have for the fifth time awarded Ricardoes Tomatoes the best tomatoes in NSW and SE Queensland. Wow! That’s not something you get to eat every day. And the conchita (cherry tomato) was judged “Champion of Show”.
Richardoes Tomatoes & Strawberries has also picked up a gong for the region’s Best Tourist Attraction by the Chamber of Commerce in the years from 2009 to 2013, which shows just how much people have a hankering to see and taste where actual food comes from. That is (speaking for myself) in between roadtrip-induced junk food benders!