DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jul 5 2016

Pick Your Own

by Camille B

Basket of strawberries 1

Summer vacation is well underway, and for some, it’s already  proving to be a test of endurance as you struggle to come up with fun and inventive ways to keep the kids happy and occupied. I imagine if you have to hear the words “I’m bored,” one more time, you’ll just pull your hair out.

So here’s one more thing that you can add to your list of summer fun that’s exciting, educational and reasonably priced- a trip to one of the local U-pick farms in Georgia.

I had the pleasure of taking my nieces and nephews to one of these farms a few weeks ago, and we had so much fun I was sorry we hadn’t done it sooner.

Not only was I able to dispel the myth that strawberries grew on trees, but I also enjoyed watching them race each other down the lanes trying to see who would fill their buckets first, all while enjoying the delicious fruit.

We didn’t have to make a reservation since it was a fairly small group. Gallon buckets were provided to us at the cost of $1 per bucket, which we were able to keep for our next visit. In addition to fruit picking, there were also farm animals like goats, cows and chickens which were an additional treat for the kids.

So take a day when the weather’s really nice and it’s not too hot out, to go visit one of these farms, giving the kids an experience they won’t soon forget. The strawberry picking season is almost at a close for the summer (the window’s a very small one, beginning in April to the end of June), but don’t be disheartened because blueberries, blackberries and peaches are still plentiful and open for picking at many of the local farms throughout Georgia.Peach Picking 1

And guess what? Your day isn’t over yet. When you return home, should you want to stretch your fruit picking fun a little further, engage the help of the older kids (the younger ones too if you have the heart) to make jams, jellies and maybe even peach cobbler or ice cream.

To locate a U-pick farm that’s nearest you, check out helpful websites like pickyourown.org, which tells you, not only what’s available for picking throughout the year, by country and state or province, but also  gives you weather forecasts, tells you where you can find markets and roadside stands and even provides helpful recipes and fruit canning instructions.

And should you decide to go, I hope you have as much fun as we did.

To help pickle, jam or preserve your pickings, check out these DCPL offerings:

Foolproof Preserving from the editor’s at America’s Test Kitchen

Jar of Jam

Farm Fresh Georgia

Farm Fresh Georgia byJodi Helmer

Jam it, pickle it, cure it by Karen Solomon

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