Go Pick Your Own in Virginia!

13 Jul
By Casey Williams

By Casey Williams

Have you had sticker shock lately at the produce prices in the grocery store?  Have you seen the prices of blueberries lately even though they are “in season”?

In the spirit of going green, spending more time with family and supporting the local farmers and economy, why not try picking your own?

My favorite site for finding pick your own produce is:  Pickyourown.org.  The site is filled with not only places to pick all over the world, but also tips for preserving and canning your harvest.  Thanks to this site, we have been able to enjoy family-time throughout Virginia picking our own fruits and vegetables.

Best of all….KIDS LOVE IT!  Here are a few tips to make your pick-your-own trip a success with the kids:

  1. Try to pick early in the morning.  It’s not too hot nor too crowded.
  2. Cover the kids with bug spray and sunscreen before going.
  3. Some pick-your-own farms offer containers, some don’t.  Bring a sturdy plastic bucket for the kids to use and hopefully, that will avoid any spills and tears.
  4. Let them eat as they pick!  Ask if the farm uses pesticides and if not, let the kids indulge.
  5. Plan ahead what to do with the harvest and let the kids help.  Some items, such as blueberries, can be put in plastic bags and frozen for later.  Something as simple as a scoop of vanilla ice cream with “their berries” on it can make a child light up with excitement.
  6. Teach the kids what vitamins are in which foods.  They love this stuff!  Before you know it, they will be telling you how they can see better because they ate 3 carrots or that they grew because they ate an apple.

Here is a list from the Pickyourown.org site of the farms in Virginia:  http://pickyourown.org/VA.htm

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