As summertime quickly approaches, we all begin to think of the beautiful, nature-filled days of warmth, sunshine, and lighter schedules. We also try thinking of ways to keep our children fed without pulling out the heavier foods- like bread- and using healthier foods that are so bountiful at this time of year.
One of the best ways to do this (if you have a brown thumb like me and cannot grow anything) is to find a U-Pick farm.
I live in Florida, so we use U-Pick blueberry picking as our end-of-the-homeschool-year-kick-off-to-summer.
There are so many benefits to visiting U-Pick farms.
1. Your children can see where their food comes from.
I do not want my children thinking that their food grows on our supermarket’s shelves. I want them to see the plants, pick the fruit, understand that the bees and butterflies are important parts of pollination, and eat fruit right from the bush.
2. You are getting some much needed Vitamin D.
While you are picking your fruit, you are out in the sunshine, breathing in the fresh air. Personally, I prefer to be indoors, but I know being outside is better for me. When I am picking blueberries, hanging laundry, or doing yard work, I am forced to be outside, and I find that I actually enjoy it.
3. It is cheaper to buy fruit that U-Pick yourself.
Have you gone to the store to buy a pint of blueberries? Have you seen how much they are? $2.99 for a pint! We have gone blueberry picking for $3-$3.50 a pound! Huge difference! The bonus is you also get a wonderful experience with your children.
4. Many U-Pick farms are pesticide free.
My two and a half year old loves picking blueberries and eating them right from the bush. Knowing that the farmers do not use pesticides sets my mind at ease as I watch my son pop as many blueberries into his mouth as he can.
Blueberry picking is not the only kind of U-Pick fruit available. My northern friends have annual traditions at different times of the year to pick apples, peaches, and pumpkins. Check your area for U-Pick farms and what they produce at what times of the year.
If you are like me and have a brown thumb but want to give your children the experience of picking their own food, I would encourage you to visit a local U-Pick farm.