Monday, June 21, 2010

Family Fun on a Budget - Picking Fruit

The weather was great this weekend - Kind of hot but not too bad. We spent most of Saturday afternoon inside a movie theater with our 5 year old (like every other parent with children this age we saw Toy Story 3 this weekend) we wanted to get out of the house and enjoy the weather on Sunday. We decided to go fruit picking. Most people don't think about fruit picking until it is apple season. For some reason many people pick apples with the family annually but most people don't think of other fruits that you can probably go pick locally.

We love this a budget friendly family day out. I looked at the websites for some local farms that I knew of to see what they had available for picking and based on that selected where we wanted to go. If you are not familiar with farms in your area that do this, I suggest searching on the internet or talking to friends and family who may know of places. I know that my State has a "Pick your own" website that lists all the farms that allow you to pick produce and gives you a brief description of what they have. It also includes links to the Farm's website which then gave us all of the information that we needed - what was available for picking, hours, location, phone number, etc...

We decided on Cherries and Blueberries. We thought about Strawberries but decided that since my husband has been having back issues and I would be holding the little man in the bjorn that it neither of us would be able to pick them and that would leave the 5 year old as the only one picking strawberries which we then thought may be more messy than we would have liked so we passed on the strawberries. We also opted against the raspberries because prickers and 5 year olds just don't seem to get along well.

We love doing cherries and blueberries because they are easy for the five year old to pick. The trees for the cherries have branches that are low enough to reach and as long as you give him a quick example of which ones you are looking for he can pick away. The problem that we ran into with the cherries is that the 5 year old doesn't know how to eat them with the pit - se we were splitting them apart and de-pitting them for him while trying to pick them too. The blueberries were much easier for him. He could just grab them and shove them in his mouth. Just be sure to bring a couple of bottles of water to rinse the fruit before they eat it. I can't say that I got all of them before they hit his mouth but I did get most of them.

Why should you choose this as a family outing:

- You need to buy fruit anyway

- It is locally grown

- You can enjoy a little snack while you are picking

- you children will have fun

- They usually have bake shops with yummy items (we bought a couple of cherry donuts to share - they were so good)

The best part is that we got prices that were comparable or better than the grocery store. We paid $3.99 per pound for cherries (which is right around what they were a our grocery store last week) and $2.25 a found (not pint...a pound) for blueberries. We did really well with the blueberry price - do you know how many blueberries make up a pound???? A lot.

If they continue that blueberry price I will be going again very soon to stock up and freeze them for other points in the year.

Depending on the time of year we have previously brought our 5 year to pick strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, plums, apples, pumpkins...I think we did pears one year too. It is a great way to spend some time out of the house and I promise (as long as your children like fruit) your children will love that they can snack while they are picking.

This is the first time we brought our little guy fruit picking - at 3 years old


and here is him picking fruit this past weekend

See my other Family Fun on a Budget posts

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