Want high quality strawberries, blueberries, raspberries at an affordable price? Who doesn’t?
THE SOLUTION: Go fruit-picking!
Fruit picking or “pick your own” refers to when you go to a farm and pick the fruit yourself. I experienced my first fruit picking experience a couple of years ago in Buffalo, New York, and I couldn’t believe how inexpensive the produce was. After my day job, I would spend an hour picking strawberries and easily come up with a whole flat (12 pints) of organic, splendid strawberries for only $15. What a great way to celebrate the end of the day! Blueberries were my favorite to pick. I would pick pounds and pounds of them, and pay very little. One summer, I picked enough organically-grown blueberries to fill a grocery bag and I only paid $8! This would have cost me almost $100 at the grocery store.
The first step to going fruit-picking is to identify what’s in season. Take a look at the seasonal harvest charts at http://www.fieldtoplate.com/guide.php or in the Raw Foods on a Budget book if you have it. Once you know what you would like to pick, locate farms that offer fruit picking or “pick your own”. A great website to find “pick your own” farms is through www.pickyourown.org. This website will tell you what your local “pick your own” farms are growing, what produce they allow you to pick, whether they are certified organic, and if there is a produce stand or market located on the farm. Once you identify one or more farms, search for them online and see if they have websites. If they don’t have a website, call for fruit picking dates, a list of produce that is available to pick (now and later in the season), and prices. Use this information to choose the best farm(s) that fits your needs. Now, the only thing left to do is to pick!
-Brandi (yep! that’s me!)
Director and Creator, Health on a Budget Summit (www.HealthonaBudgetSummit.com)
Author of the award-winning book, Raw Foods on a Budget