Gathering your own food is a very basic human survival function that many people never experience in this day and age, but spending some time to pick your own fruit can have other benefits besides the ripe, delicious fruit you can eat straight from the vine. I recently wrote about blueberry and blackberry picking, and April Finnen has compiled a great list of pick-your-own orchards in the Frederick, MD area.
Why sacrifice some of your limited time to get something you can get at the store? Here are seven reasons why I think you should get outside and gather:
- It’s a great deal – pick your own berries are much cheaper than in stores, and it’s easy to wash and freeze them for later use so you can impress your guests with a local berry dessert in winter.
- It’s a great way to get natural, low stress exercise that will help offset the cobbler and ice cream you will have when you get home.
- You get to meet the farmer who grows your food.
- You will gain a lot of respect for folks who work the fields for a living.
- It puts money directly into your local economy and helps that green space continue to thrive.
- You will learn something about the growing seasons, the land and local ecology.
- It’s fun for families, groups and dates.
- With a mountain of fresh, local fruit at your disposal, who knows what recipes you might try? Let me know about your favorite places to pick fruit in the comments below.