As frequent Simple Bites readers will know, we teach our kids about where their food comes from, and try to harvest nature’s bounty through u-picks as often as we can. Aimee and I were married in an apple orchard, and so apple picking has been an annual tradition.
Strawberry season, however, is much, much shorter, and so this past Monday was the first time our family of five has gone strawberry picking since Clara has joined us. Four of us absolutely love these seasonal, sweet berries, and the other one tolerated the outing by having races up and down the pathway (he’s not a berry believer).
It was a deliciously cool and overcast summer morning and we hopped on the trailer for the requisite tractor ride out to the field. Despite our boys’ need to run, run, run, we were told in no uncertain terms by several of the staff that the field was simply too far to ever imagine walking for adults, let alone children. Oh well. It was a nice tractor ride.
Although imported strawberries have been in stores for over a month, the unseasonally cool summer means the local berries are only just starting to ripen, and we were ready for them.
Clara can nearly always out-eat the boys, and this outing was no exception. She picked and ate well over half a pint, and only careful supervision kept her from ingesting too much straw or the overly green ones. She was in her element!
Plan ahead for your U-pick excursion:
- Berries stain, bushes have thorns, and fields can be muddy. Dress appropriately, and remember a hat.
- Decide how you’ll use the berries before picking. It’s easy to over-pick, so be prepared to have freezer space when you get tired of eating berries.
- Call the farm before you visit – picking conditions can vary from day to day, and the farmer will let you know the best time to arrive and the conditions.
- Bring the camera and pack a picnic!
We enjoyed the family friendly Ferme Marineau, with its picnic area and scenic tractor and wagon ride. Yes, it is stroller-friendly, too.
To find a local U-pick farm, either ask around at your local market, or try the Pick Your Own website. It’s a good resource, not only for finding farms, but offers recipes and tips for what to do with your haul.
Have you gone to a u-pick yet this year?