Picking Your Own Produce- Make A Day Of It!

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by Patrice on February 17, 2011 · 4 comments

in Day Trips

Do your kids think that fruits and vegetables come from a grocery store? Maybe it’s time for a day trip to a local farm that offers customers the option of picking their own produce. The trip will provide fun and learning for the kids and at the same time give the single mom a chance to buy her fresh produce at a reduced rate because labor and transportation cuts are taken out of the final bill.

For the single mom with a picky eater, a day trip to pick produce gives an opportunity to encourage the child to experiment by tasting the raw vegetables that they are picking. Often, just being involved in the process of gathering or preparing food will give even the most picky child an incentive to try something new or be willing to reassess a food that they’ve previously rejected.

When you get to the farm, ask for a picking schedule. Many of the farms that allow families to pick their own products have pre-printed schedules that include estimated times that their fields will be ready for harvesting. If there isn’t a printed schedule, be prepared to jot the information down.

Ask if they offer tours during the non-growing season. Agriculture work goes on year round, whether it’s tending the plants, harvesting, cleanup, making amendments to the soil or planting. Learning about the workings of a large farm can be interesting to a child, even one who has never before shown any interest in gardening.

Visiting a farm doesn’t have to be limited to picking produce. Working orchards can also offer opportunities for a day trip. Depending on the area you live, the collection of maple sap and the conversion to syrup and candy offers an opportunity to learn and have fun.

Don’t overlook the Christmas tree farms in your search for a day trip destination. Work goes on year round, not just in preparation for the holidays.

Some farms process their harvests into food products or other end products that they sell and have little shops on site. Ask the owner or manager on site if they would be willing to allow you to bring your family back at a later date for a tour.

Other family activities are sometimes offered at local farms. Some offer hay rides or mazes in the fall after the harvest. Some offer sleigh rides in the winter. Be sure to seek out these opportunities for future day trips.

A visit to a working farm can be fun, educational and save the single mom money on the grocery bill, but the single mom has to be aware of the hazards that may be in the area. If your child has allergies or chemical sensitivities, ask questions before they are exposed to a substance they may react to.

Children have to be well supervised at all times, not only to keep them safe, but to protect the farmer from any damage that may be caused to their crops.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie February 17, 2011 at 11:40 am

I did this with my nephew who is a very picky eater. He prefers sweets to veggies and fruits. I took him to a farm to pick his own. We talked about each of the veggies he picked and the fruits as well. Then when we got home he helped wash them and got to pick a way to prepare them. He decided he would try strawberries over ice cream. And he loved it! And he know loves to go and pick his own.

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Savannah February 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

Isn’t it fun? You could even try making your own garden at home as well – then he can grow them as well as pick them!

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Amanda February 22, 2011 at 10:31 pm

This is an interesting idea, I would like to try this farm trip. Maybe through this I will get my kids attention to eat more vegetables and fruits, because they don’t like it very much. I also agree that it will be a fun and learning experience too.

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Savannah March 1, 2011 at 9:59 am

Try going to farms with animals at them as well – it can make it even more fun and interesting to get to feed and play with animals.

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