But wait... Summer is here! You can pick your own produce and enjoy the benefits that grocery shoppers miss.
- Save money. The labor you invest in harvesting your own can result in lower prices.
- Know your farmer. Most pick-your-own farms are family-owned and operated, so family members are usually on site. Building friendships is easy to do.
- Know the farm. Good farming practices result in quality produce. You can make a reasonable assessment just by visiting, and it's easy to learn more by asking the farmer himself.
- Enjoy the local flavor. Food just seems to taste better when it's eaten close to where it was grown. Perhaps it's the soil, or the environment. Many argue that locally-grown food is more nutritious, too. In fact, some very flavorful fruit and vegetable varieties don't ship well, so you'll never have the opportunity to enjoy them if you don't buy them at the farm.
- Teach your children. Many people have no idea where their food comes from, how it's grown or harvested. Visiting a farm with your family can be a valuable life lesson for the children.
- Have some fun. Many pick-your-own farms offer hay-rides, petting zoos, seasonal festivals and lots of other attractions.
- Support the local economy. What goes around comes around, and the cycle is a bit shorter when you buy from locally owned farmers and markets.
If you want to find a pick-your-own farm in your area, check out PickYourOwn.org. The nice people at that site also provide lots of helpful information, including picking tips, recipes, and how to can and freeze your produce.
Find a farm today, and start picking!
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