Kerri, our amazing Rite Aid, QFC and Top/Haggen expert, shares her experience with u-pick berry farms! This post was written by her. Enjoy!
It’s summer in Washington which means that it’s time to start thinking u-pick. We love u-picking around here! If you haven’t tried it before it’s a fun family activity that helps you stock up on fresh, local produce often at a fraction of the cost. And it has the added benefit of supporting local farms and farmers while also getting to know exactly where your food comes from.
This week I had the chance to take my kids strawberry picking at Biringer Farm out in Arlington. We had a great time! The sun was shining and the plants were loaded. We picked a few flats and that night feasted on strawberries – straight out of the flat, with dinner and over ice cream. What we didn’t eat immediately got frozen to use in smoothies and desserts for the rest of the year. When we go raspberry picking we’ll do the same thing but also add jam making to the list (see our post about raspberry picking from last summer)
If you’re interested in u-picking where you live, word of a mouth is a great way to find out good places to u-pick. If you ask around, people often have favorites that they’ll let you know about. You can also check out pickyourown.org. It’s a great resource for finding places close to home.
Here are some additional tips before you head out:
- Call ahead. While many places have websites it’s always a good idea to call ahead to confirm hours. While you’re at it, ask about the crop, too. They can often tell you when the best time to pick is.
- Bring containers. Many places provide containers for you, but not all do so it’s good to have them just in case.
- Pick during peak season. Picking is so much easier and quicker if you don’t wait until the end of the season when there isn’t as much available.
- If possible, try picking on weekdays when it’s usually not as busy as the weekend. Mornings are a great time, too.
- Make room in your freezer. If you’re planning on freezing your berries it’s nice to have lots of room available.
What about you? We’d love to hear your favorite things to u-pick and any tips you might have!