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U-Pick Your Produce

May 31, 2013

Summertime is great for going to local farms to pick your own fresh produce. Pick-your-own farms became very popular in the U.S. during the 1950s, and still provide quite the nostalgic experience for many people. So much of the fruit that is available in grocery stores is of mediocre quality, often times it goes bad before it gets eaten or we have to wait a long time for optimal ripeness. Why not take a little time one summer day to drive to your local farm with your buckets and pick your own perfectly ripe, red strawberries, or plump blueberries?

  • May-June: strawberries

  • June- July: cherries

  • June-August: blueberries, blackberries

  • July-September: peaches, figs, tomatoes, green beans

  • July-October: raspberries

  • August - Figs, Fall raspberries start, early apples

***ALWAYS call or email the farm to confirm they have the fruit or vegetable you want and are open, BEFORE you drive out there.***

What to bring:

  • Bring snacks, hand towels or disposable wipes and PLENTY of water.
  • Include containers for picking and for carrying the fruit home (smaller containers are better for children's smaller hands), Some farms provide them, but usually for a fee.
  • Dress in old clothes and worn athletic shoes; you want to be comfortable and not worried about staining or tearing your clothes! If the ground is wet, it will really ruin any nice shoe, so wear your beat up old ones!
  • Wide-brimmed hats help protect you from the summer sun. Don't forget sunscreen for the back of your neck and other exposed skin.

You don’t have to think of u-pick farms as a means to getting fruit only for jams or jellies, but use the fruit in smoothies, add to summer salads for flavor, make fruit kabobs for summer get-togethers, or even make your own frozen yogurt! The possibilities are endless, and provide a fun activity to do with the kids or a friend!

Tip: Wash fruit in a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water to help keep it from getting too ripe too quick.

Be sure to check out this website to find local (even some organic!) farms near you and to see what crops they offer.

http://pickyourown.org/MDbalt.htm#listings#listings

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